A website started earlier this year by the family of a boy stricken with a rare disease takes donated videogames and resells them, using the money to assist in finding cures for rare (or orphan) diseases.
GameZone details the story of DonateGames.org, which was launched by Jim Carol. Carol’s undertaking began two years ago when his then 11-year-old son Taylor was diagnosed with Philadelphia Chromosome, a rare form of Leukemia. After uprooting his family and moving to Seattle in order to ensure Taylor had the best care possible, Carol became of aware of Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity and witnessed first-hand the positive effects videogames had on the afflicted youth, saying that games “played a big part in helping them get better.”
Carol acknowledged that his road to embracing videogames was not a direct one:
I’m a 50-year-old pop and I wasn’t a gamer. But I do believe in video-games, I don’t think they are bad, I think they are wonderful for education. My contemporaries jump to conclusions right away and think they (video-games) caused Columbine, and that’s just not the case. You will see, this year, a big part of what I’m going to be talking about in the media is that we need to change that opinion. Video-games are good and gamers are good, and they are benevolent, and they are kind and they are giving, caring people.
Carol also specifically called out HopeLab’s game Re-mission as scientifically proven in its ability to speed recovery time in sick children. The game, aimed at young people with cancer, was financed by eBay founders Pierre and Pam Omidyar.
NC Soft, Electronic Arts, Valve, Telltale Games and Paradox Interactive are among the partners listed on the charity’s website. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences made a donation to the program as well. Donated games are eligible for a tax credit equal or greater to what would have been received if the game was traded in.