Written by contributing intern, Matthew Carrico

For a good while now, the esports industry has done much to benefit many people and organizations. This includes the likes of students looking to go competitive or simply find a career in the growing industry. As well as K-12/colleges who look to add esports as part of their campus life. Various organizations want to help grow the world of esports in order to make it more accessible to everyone. It is the efforts of these parties that make esports the booming industry it is today. However, that is primarily looking at the industry on its own. Today, we are going to look at how esports can be beneficial to outside parties. This comes in various forms including donations, charities and fundraisers, for example.

Esports and Charity Benefits

The purpose of charities and fundraisers is to garner resources and get help to those in need of essentials such as money and food. Most charities are generally non-profits and use a variety of methods in order to get donations. Some of these methods include the use of volunteers, selling products, hosting fundraising events usually in the form of galas, sponsoring events and advertising. Overall, it is the goal for charities to raise awareness and publicity in order to help those in need. Esports has seen quite a use in it.

The front of esports and gaming provides many opportunities for people to raise awareness and money for those in need. In this case, gaming can either be a team effort or done so by a single person in order to raise money. The rise of social media and streaming platforms are essential when it comes to charities involving gaming and esports.

Platforms such as Twitch allow users to donate to their favorite streamers who play games in order to raise money for certain organizations such St. Jude Children’s Hospital, for example. Gaming and esports allow people to watch and react to their favorite game or creator in exchange for a small donation. Gaming streams usually set goals for how much money they have raised and show how caring streamers and audiences are worthy causes. We are also going to highlight some examples of esports charities just to show how beneficial they can be.

Kettering’s 24-Hour Gaming Marathon

Not too long ago, the Kettering University Esports team hosted a 24-hour gaming marathon in which players would spend an entire day playing video games to raise money for Hurley Children’s Hospital. The event started at 10 a.m. on November 13 and serves as part of the Extra Life program. Extra Life is a program that works to bring gamers from across the globe together to help kids at hospitals as part of the Children’s Miracle Network. The goal was to raise $5,000 towards the charity. Unfortunately, the event was only able to raise over $2,500 or just over half the set goal. This goes to show that some charities can fail to meet expectations but can be used as an example to better prepare for future events.

Champlain College Esports Partners With Extra Life

Extra Life is at it again this time teaming up with Champlain College, a private university in Burlington, Vermont. This 24-hour event sought to raise money for the UVM Children’s Hospital with the goal of $3,000. They managed to raise over $5,000 for this cause showing that similar charities can yield different results. 200 Champlain students gathered to take part in the event. The event was home to things such as raffles, tournaments and prizes. Overall, this event served as a chance to bond with others and make new friends. This emphasis on connectivity should be a driving factor in many of these charities and Extra Life seems to take notice of this. Extra Life hosts a variety of events in order to raise awareness for Children’s Hospitals. For more information about their organization, check out their website.

Other Esports Charity Organizations

Besides Extra Life, there are many more organizations that specialize in using gaming and esports to bring aid to others. The AbleGamers Charity is an organization that helps those with disabilities get into gaming since 2004. They help develop equipment such as controllers to better accommodate specific disabilities. Child’s Play (not the slasher films) is a charity that looks to bring joy to young children in hospitals and shelters. They have contributed gaming systems to domestic violence shelters geared for co-op play to act as therapy for the young.

The Games Done Quick charity raises money by organizing speedrunning marathons. They have partnered with other charities such as Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation in regularly organized events in order to give support. I Need Diverse Games is all about bringing more diversity to gaming. They have a scholarship program for the Game Developers Conference in which they send 25 qualifying developers to build connections.

There are many more esports and gaming charities that deserve highlighting including St. Jude Play Live in support of their children’s hospitals. BroadcastHER Initiative from the 1000 Dreams Fund helps to bring scholarships and mentorships for women dreaming about a future in gaming and content creation. Finally, the Esports Foundation is a non-profit that looks to give back to those from the esports community. There are many options to choose from when it comes to supporting various charities with gaming.

Header image courtesy of Extra Life/ FSC Southern