Perhaps, like me, your first memory of computer games is the grainy Super Mario Bros on the impossibly small Gameboy screen, and the unfathomably addictive, efficient-block-stacking game, Tetris. The rate of evolution of gaming over the past 30+ years means that our first gaming memories can help to define our age, as rings do for a tree.
Games in vibrant colour, with amazingly realistic graphics, played with people across the world were as much a thing of sci-fi as the internet was back when I completed Super Mario Bros, twice. Today, we all carry a mobile phone that works part-time as a gaming technology and yet is capable of storing hundreds of games far more detailed than anything you could ever find on the Gameboy. It now feels natural for us all to share our lives with people around the planet using every conceivable platform and format.
The world of online gaming seems both omnipresent and, for some including myself, something out of Omni magazine. The world, or perhaps universe, of online gaming is accessible for all. It is rich in opportunities to overcome obstacles, play with others, and escape into increasingly life-like virtual worlds.
But here in our physical world, where so much work needs to be done to address wrongs, find cures, and help others, what can gaming and the virtual world contribute? There are some answers in many of the Charity Chat podcast episodes that I have had the pleasure of recording with some rather splendid people.
In episode 63 of the Charity Chat podcast, we spoke with Natasha Stone, Head of Emerging Markets at JustGiving, about what gaming for good is and how gamers can raise funds for the charities they love.
In episode 67, we spoke with Lucy Squance about how Alzheimers Research UK and many other charities are embracing gaming in order to deliver for their causes.
In episode 77, of the podcast we spoke with Andrew Berry who has raised thousands of pounds for charities through gaming.
These three excellent guests have helped to highlight how worthwhile, accessible, and magical gaming can be for those who game, and the charities they choose to support. These podcasts help to show that gaming for good is the latest example of how charities can bring purpose to people’s lives by enlisting them in joining their cause.
The potential of gaming for good is enormous and it just needs more charities to start talking about it to their audiences.
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