In the gaming world, Bachir Boumaaza is known as Athene. Known to many as the best gamer in the world, Athene makes a living playing video games. He has a YouTube subscriber base of around 700,000 people, who watch him live-stream video games every day.
Recognizing that there are many people in the world that don’t enjoy such an existence, Athene wanted to give back. He decided that he would put together an initiative to help feed hungry children in Africa. Armed with his gaming fame and friends from the community, Athene created Gaming for Good, a program that to date has raised over $10 million dollars.
Gaming for Good’s proceeds are given to Save the Children for relief efforts. Athene even traveled to Mali in West Africa to visit what he calls “dem kidz.” While there, he streamed live and helped raise money for Save the Children’s Fastathon Live event, raising about $100,000. Gaming for Good is currently raising money to help fund health programs in Malawi, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
So, how does it work? Basically, game developers and publishers donate games to the charity. Everyone else can donate money, in return for which they’ll get “points,” which can be used to purchase the donated games. The more money users donate, the more points they gain. In this way, money that would normally go to publishers and companies instead gets donated to charity. Gaming for Good has already raised $10,343,933 of its $11.6 million goal (at the time of this writing).
In addition, last November Gaming for Good participated in digital retailer GOG’s week long promotion for charity, which offered gamers the chance to buy a bundle of three games at a discounted price. With a minimum purchase amounting to $5, consumers could then choose one charity to donate to: Gaming for Good, World Wide Fund for Nature, or Worldbuilders. In just one week, the gaming community came together to raise nearly $2 million.
With groups like Gaming for Good, Extra Life, and HopeLab, video games and the community surrounding them have come into the limelight, making it clear that gamers are doing serious good in the world.