Four video game charities — the IGDA Foundation (IGDA-F), Take This, the Global Game Jam, and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline — have banded together to create the Stay in the Game Relief Fund.
They’re doing this because it’s harder to raise money for existing charities when so much attention is focusing on fighting the pandemic. For more information or to donate to the cause, here’s the Stay in the Game Givebutter page.
From now through May 21, the initiative aims to raised $100,000 to fill a gap in the nonprofits’ programs and funding efforts resulting from event cancellations and postponements in light of the pandemic. The charities are getting support from the game industry in the form of a $50,000 matching donation from Riot Games, Devolver, Double Fine, Robot Teddy, Splash Damage, and Six To Start. Streamers will also conduct charity streams to raise funds for the cause.
These four organizations work to decrease stigma and support the mental health in gaming, create supportive environments around the world, and pave the way for safe, supportive, and innovative community.
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Nika Nour, the executive director at IGDA Foundation (and one of our speakers at our recent GamesBeat Summit 2020), said the fundraiser came together in a short time, making it a good example of what four ambitious, strong women achieve when coming together to solve problems. The groups’ leaders are Nour (IGDA-F), Kate Edwards (Global Game Jam), Eve Crevoshay (Take This), and Anita Sarkeesian (Games and Online Harassment Hotline).
In an email, Crevoshay said, “Take This is very pleased to be partnering with these organizations to further our shared mission of a more diverse, inclusive, and dynamic game industry. On a personal level, the opportunity to work with these smart and empowered woman leaders has proven to be energizing and inspiring. The leadership from this group is sure to result in fantastic partnerships and initiatives in the future — ones that will truly move the needle on innovation, support, and diversity across the industry.”
Crevoshay was the winner of our Up and Comer Award for the GamesBeat Summit Visionary Awards.
And Edwards said in an email, “As an organization focused on global outreach and celebrating game creation and inclusive communities in all its forms, the Global Game Jam is honored to be partnering with this incredible set of organizations and their leaders that share our values. As the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively eliminated live events, which serve as a primary catalyst for nonprofit fundraising, we’re hoping that this fundraiser will help fill the giving gap that has resulted by the disruption. And as a result, our organizations can continue making a positive impact for both those who make games and those who play them.”
Sarkeesian was the longtime host of Feminist Frequency, which analyzed how games as a medium depicted diversity.
In an email, she said, “When everything feels like it’s falling apart, that’s when we really have to band together. It can be hard to ask for help but I really believe that, contrary to all the media that tells us human beings will revert to a Mad Max mentality when things are tough, the truth is that we are here for one another, especially in times of crisis. (While maintaining proper social distancing of course!).”
She added, “I feel honored that I get to work with this group of incredibly motivated women who are all fighting to make the games industry the best it possibly can be. Running a nonprofit is difficult and unforgiving at the best of times, but what we are seeing during the Covid-19 pandemic is that some of the financial means that we have relied on historically are drying up, and as a result we risk losing the ability to carry out the programming that lets us make a real difference. So this group fundraiser is our way of saying that we’re not giving in to the mentality of scarcity and individuality. We know we are stronger together, we can rely on one other, we can share resources, and we can do all of that by being transparent with our communities and asking for help, together.”
Regarding the women leaders of the charities, Nour had this to say.
We’re four female executive directors of independent non-profit organizations supporting communities impacted by a flailing job market and hits to mental and emotional health as direct results of COVID-19. With conferences being canceled right and left and a general lockdown on in-person gatherings, networking opportunities have dried up and so we came together to find solutions in support of the next generation of developers currently stuck in isolation.
As non-profits, we rely on community support and good corporate partners to run initiatives benefitting developers, freelancers and gamers all over the world. We hope this fundraiser provides some relief in operational support so we can continue our work by reinventing our programs for success in virtual spaces. There’s no telling when life will get back to a “normal” cadence. We support people’s health as a first priority, so our respective missions – which are more important than ever, as the isolation necessary to weather this pandemic makes things even harder for our communities – need to be tackled in new ways for the forseeable future.
To help us achieve these goals, we aim to collectively raise $100,000 to be split evenly among the four organizations. We’ve learned so much by working together in such a short amount of time. I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such brilliant and talented leaders in the video game space to find ways to pivot or identify new methods to support our communities in this time of crisis.