I know nothing about gaming, what’s this industry even look like?
You’d be surprised, but some 2.5 billion people are playing games every day from Candy Rush and Farmville to Fortnite and Minecraft. As a whole, this industry is spending around $150 billion dollars.* Let me say that again, a little differently. The games industry is spending $150,000,000,000 every year but only 0.25% of that is going to social impact – we can do better.^
What’s more, Esports is the newest craze. Players compete in various gaming tournaments and events where 100s of millions of viewers watch these competitions unfold and the winning teams literally go home with millions in cash prizes.
But how are games being used for social impact?
Believe it or not, every day we are seeing games being used to create real change.
Sometimes referred to as gamification, are programs that are strategically designed to motivate behavior change and/or increase community engagement.
Take The Good Cards – a real-life game for doing good. Users receive Good Cards with various kindness missions, input a story once completed, and track the individual and community action(s) as each act creates a ripple effect around the world.
Or FunFunding which runs online tournaments where each team plays for a charity. It’s literally as easy as a mobile game. Groups sign up, create a team, and pick whatever nonprofit they want to play for – sometimes even their own.
After, groups invite their friends and community members to join and play. By beating levels and earning points, you score points for your FunFunding team. At the end of the tournament, the TOP scoring teams win sponsored donations for their nonprofit partner.
Aren’t games bad for you?
Great question! It turns out games aren’t as bad as we think. It is widely known that the vast majority of young people play video games, and this “has the potential to promote social and civic engagement.”“
What’s interesting though, games actually have a very strong engagement factor. People feel a sense of autonomy, contribution, and community so much that they’re playing for around six hours a week – that’s six hours of time each person could be making a social impact.#
What does the future of this industry look like?
This industry is only going up, no matter how you look at it. More games for good will be created, more Esports teams, programs, and tournaments will be organized, and that means more sponsored donations will flow.
It’s just the beginning. Year over year brands are increasing cause-related spending. Universities around the world are tapping into Esports – implementing varsity college teams, as well as, degree programs specific to marketing and management in this industry.+
Now more than ever Millennials and Gen Zers are seeking innovative ways to engage in community action and people will contribute to a better world through play as it’s already happening today!
I’d like to get involved, what are the next steps?
There are so many ways for you to get involved. For starters, sign up to create a FunFunding team → FunFunding Tournament Sign Up! FunFunding regularly runs national tournaments where individuals can sign up, create a team, and play for prize donations. It’s a really fun and easy-to-implement program that gives everyone a fun way to support a cause they care about.
If you want to learn more about innovative gamified tools and techniques to improve your organization’s employee, service provider and stakeholder engagement, or if you just have a burning question to ask, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about this space and what might best align with your organization’s focus, needs and plans for the future, feel free to reach out to Corey here.
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Corey Harnish is a Social Impact Entertainment Specialist. For the last 5 years, he’s been on a journey to make this world a better place and believes that by bridging the sciences of Positive Psychology, Play, and Gamification we can encourage a global trend of doing good while empowering people to take, small positive actions, and see their impact in real time.