Times are tough right now for everyone. Every morning, I dread opening my web browser and seeing the news. How many people have lost their lives since yesterday? What companies and jobs are lost? There’s so much uncertainty. That’s where video games get their chance to shine. Whether they are simply something that entertains you or serve a much deeper emotional connection for you, games have power. That’s why, now more than ever, we as a gaming community need to stick together.
During this COVID-19 crisis, it’s encouraging to see all of the great work the gaming community has done. Financially, millions upon millions of dollars have been raised for COVID-19 relief efforts and other related charities. Bethesda is donating $1 million to multiple COVID-19 relief charities. Meanwhile, The Coalition (studio behind Gears of War) is donating 200 Xbox One Xs to the Gamers Outreach. From there, these consoles will be distributed to children’s wards across the US to give them something to do while stuck in quarantine. The Humble Bundle Conquer COVID-19 Bundle has raised over $6.5 million for a multitude of organizations. Even the employees of these companies are part of the action. Electronic Arts has pledged to match-fund up to $2 million in employee donations to fight COVID-19. These same employees have been donating essential supplies to multiple countries through their own grassroots programs.
Coming together as a community doesn’t stop with financial support though. There’s another important way we can help that doesn’t involve spending a penny-emotionally supporting each other. Square Enix did this by choosing to release Final Fantasy 7 Remake early to Australia and Europe so they wouldn’t miss out on the release date. For many of those gamers, FF7 was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time. Recently, I see that same support being shown across the internet as gamers come together to try and stop the spread of The Last of Us Part 2 leaks. For a lot of fans, this game has characters we deeply care about and we want to experience their journey as it unfolds. It’s heartening to see gamers take a stand and refuse to let a loud minority ruin the experience for the majority.
We don’t have to stop here though. And quite frankly, I don’t think we will. COVID-19 has shown exactly what this community is capable of when we come together as a united front. It doesn’t matter if you support PlayStation or Xbox, we are all humans struggling through this difficult time the best we can. We have the power to come together and do incredible things. Despite the difficulties of this pandemic, there is one massively positive thing that I continue to hold onto throughout this journey. I’ve never been prouder to be a gamer.
You can check out a full list of all of the amazing things the gaming community is doing during this time here.