To pay tribute to a colleague and a close friend who passed away, UK developer Creative Assembly is launching a game jam in his honor. Long-time Creative Assembly senior programmer Simon Franco died in June. His most recent work was on Alien: Isolation. To honor Franco, his colleagues and friends will remember and honor his memory with a game jam this weekend called the Franco Jam.
Global Gaming Initiative (GGI) has released its latest game, Outbreak Responder in partnership with Malaria No More. MNM is a non-profit that seeks to end deaths from this preventable disease. The new free-to-play strategy game allows players to join the fight against the real-world health crisis, and 50 percent of profits from in-app purchases go directly to the non-profit organization. GGI points out that one dollar can provide malaria treatment to a child in Africa via Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. The game was developed by Developed by CodeSustainable.
Games accessibility charity AbleGamers has launched YouTube video series called #AskAbleGamers that answers questions about the work the group does, accessibility questions, and more. The first video can be found here on YouTube to your left. Those interested in submitting a question to AbleGamers can do so using the Twitter hashtag #AskAbleGamers.
Games accessibility charity AbleGamers announced over the weekend that, starting on Nov. 6, the AbleGamers laboratory will be open for one-on-one consultation and will continue to operate on the first Thursday of every month moving forward.
Gamers with disabilities can visit the AbleGamers laboratory to try out numerous assistive technology options at the lab to find a solution that works for them with the help of the facility's expert staff.
On Saturday, October 25 the Nerdist team will be participating in the Extra Life marathon to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. They will start streaming at 9am on Oct. 25 until 9am Oct. 26, with the goal of raising at least $20,000 by the end of the marathon. If you like The Nerdist and the fine work that they do, then you should check out the group's Extra Life page for more information.
This week the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) doled out $90,000 in scholarships to 30 students who are pursuing game development-related degrees in the United States. The scholarships were handed out through the ESA's charity arm, The ESA Foundation.
All of this year's recipients are either women and/or minorities enrolled at an accredited four-year U.S. academic institution. Each recipient will receive $3,000 through the scholarship program.
Bethesda Software has an update on its official blog detailing all of its grand plans for this year's Extra Life charity marathon. While the company has long supported Extra Life, it has decided to create its own dedicated page this year - complete with a schedule of games it plans to play and stream, and some interesting prizes that donators can win.
A fundraiser for fallen FGC member and pro Killer Instinct player Terrance “PushaTee88” Moore has raised over $9,000 to pay for his funeral expenses and help his family. Killer Instinct player and Fighting Game Community (FGC) member Terrance “PushaTee88” Moore collapsed on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 16 while participating in Super Arcade’s The Runback weekly tournament.
Killer Instinct player and Fighting Game Community (FGC) member Terrance “PushaTee88” Moore collapsed on Thursday evening while participating in Super Arcade’s The Runback weekly tournament.
Video-game themed military charity Operation Supply Drop announced the launch of a new mentorship program to support veteran-owned businesses, with a focus on the video game and entertainment space. The goal of the program is to encourage other veterans to look at starting their own businesses after returning home from a long deployment overseas. HeroCrate is the first veteran-founded company that Operation Supply Drop has partnered with as part of this mentorship program.
At the end of last week, Tommy Refenes - one of the co-creators of the indie hit Super Meat Boy - held a three night fundraising event to raise money for his sick mother. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Refenes took to Twitch to play and stream Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto V in the hopes of helping his sister raise $15,000 to get their mother a diabetic alert dog.
Tommy Refenes, one of the co-creators of the indie hit Super Meat Boy, is hosting a fundraising event on the evenings of October 9, 10, and 11th to raise money for his sick mother. Specifically, Refenes says that he is trying to raise enough money to buy his mother a diabetic alert dog because she is having a difficult time with her type 1 diabetes.
Military-focused video games charity Operation Supply Drop has announced a new partnership with UMG Gaming, a veteran-owned provider of LAN events, eSports infrastructure, and hosted competitive gaming tournaments. The first fruits of this new partnership will come to fruition at UMG Nashville, an eSports event to be held on October 10-12 in the Nashville Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
The Entertainment Software Foundation was honored earlier this week by ThanksUSA for providing grant money that directly benefits the ongoing educational needs of the spouses and children of United States armed forces personnel serving around the world. ThanksUSA describes itself as a non-partisan, charitable effort to mobilize Americans of all ages to "thank" the men and women of the United States armed forces and also provides college, technical and vocational school scholarships for the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel.
Our very own Andrew Eisen details what he'll be doing to support the Extra Life charity this year in a brand new video. This year, leading up to a big 24-hour gaming marathon, Andrew plans to stream gaming sessions every Wednesday at 8pm PST (that's 11pm EST on the East Coast) beginning tonight.
His 24-hour marathon will officially begin on Saturday, Oct. 25 at noon PST.
Bandai Namco Games America has teamed up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the launch of its Ms. PAC-MAN Pink Ribbon Campaign. Headlined by special DLC featuring Ms. PAC-MAN, this effort is aimed at raising funds for NBCF to help women with early detection, education and support services related to breast cancer.
The GoFundMe funding campaign for writer Tom Chick, founder of the popular gaming site and forum Quarter To Three, who has a rare form of stage 4 cancer, has managed to raise $22,211 from 338 people in five days. The campaign has another five days to go if you are interested in helping Tom out.
In a recent update to the GoFundMe page for Tom, PR ninja Stephanie Schopp (who works for Tinsley PR) expressed her surprise and joy that so many in the video games industry, press, and gaming community have helped Tom out in his hour of need:
Last year, with the help of the gaming community and companies like Sony Online Entertainment, game-related charity Extra-Life raised more than $4 million dollars to help battle serious ailments affecting children like cancer and cystic fibrosis. This year SOE has renewed its commitment to the cause with the goal of making 2014 a banner fundraising year for the charity.
Rovio has teamed up with Room to Read, a non-profit literacy advocacy group whose goal is to promote reading and gender equality in Asia and Africa. For the next two weeks Rovio will offer a "Good Deed" coin as an in-game purchase for Angry Birds Epic. Rovio will donate $1.40 from each $3.99 purchase to Room to Read to help drive its initiatives abroad.
We often see appeals for people to donate to Child's Play, the charity started by Penny Arcade founders Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, but it's not always clear where that money eventually ends up. But Wane.com offers a good example of how the money donated by the very generous gaming community to Child's Play directly benefits children in hospitals locally.
Comedian Will Ferrell has launched an Indiegogo campaign for "Will Ferrell's SuperMegaBlastMax Gamer Challenge," which lets backers donate money to cancer research for the chance to play video games with Will Ferrell in San Francisco on Oct. 26 for a few hours. The event will be broadcast live on Twitch. Ferrell is looking to raise $375,000 in order to make the event a reality. Here's more from his Indiegogo campaign page:
UK-based gamer charity SpecialEffect announced the winners of SpecialEffect Soccer Fives and that it managed to raise a cool £3000 for its ongoing mission of helping individuals with disabilities find new and exciting ways to play video games. The soccer event took place last Friday in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, with the Sports Interactive (makers of the Football Manager series) team winning the 2014 SpecialEffect Soccer Fives Trophy by beating out RuneScape maker Jagex.
Tabytha and David Armstrong, long-time World of Warcraft players (who play on the Eldre’Thalas server), recently found out just how wonderful Blizzard and the vast community that plays its long-running MMO truly is. Of course, the couple already knew that. Last week David Armstrong posted a heartfelt thank you in the World of Warcraft forums to the game’s developers for the game, which has impacted he and his wife's life so dramatically over the years.
Voting has opened for which UK-based charitable organization GamesAid will support this year through various fundraising efforts. You can help them by visiting this link and casting your vote for one of the following charities. While GamesAid is a gaming-focused charity, the organization hands out donations to a wide variety of worthy causes.
This year's candidates are:
Mental health charity Take This is returning to PAX Prime again this year with an AFK Room and a special panel led by the group's founders and other contributors.
"PAX has been a huge part of the success of Take This in being able to reach those who need help dealing with mental health issues in the greater video gaming community," said Take This president Russ Pitts. "It's an honor to be able to return to the show in an expanded role, and to hopefully help more people and spread more awareness about these very important issues."
Military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop has announced The Indie Ammo Box, a digital online store that will offer specially created "name your price" indie video game bundles and an assortment of individual games for sale.
All of the proceeds from this special storefront will go towards building care packages filled with video game software, equipment, and accessories for U.S. military personnel stationed overseas and those recovering from combat injuries in military hospitals around the world.