There was a time when video games had bad press, accused of making young people violent and perverted or of being simply useless for the population. But this medium that we FINALLY recognize as an art is extremely varied and is made by humans like you and me who care about the world and the problems that surround it. This is why some of them have tried useful experiences for humanity, made huge donations for causes or simply good deeds, which we suggest you see right away through some examples that warm our hearts.
1. The studios that donated millions to Ukraine
This isn’t the first time video game studios have made large donations to charity or benefiting struggling countries, but it’s probably the most recent example. Hundreds of independent studios had created a pack of nearly 800 games that players could get for $10, the profits of which were entirely donated to Ukraine, and as much to tell you that the operation was a real success since it is 26.5 million that have been collected. At the same time the studio behind Fortnite (Epic Games) had donated 70 million dollars for the same cause, in addition to another major operation which had raised this total to 114 million.
2. Cell Slider: the game that advanced cancer research
Developed jointly between cancer researchers and gaming folks, Cell Slider was made in 2012 and allowed players to sort cell samples between blood, cancerous, irregular, or mutated cells. Said like that, it’s not necessarily super clear, but people have lent themselves to the game and processed nearly 1.6 million samples in just three months after the launch of the game, which would have been achieved in ten- the Foundation’s most powerful computer for eight months, saving researchers valuable processing time. This is called a success.
3. Stall Catchers: the game that advances Alzheimer’s research
In the same idea as Cell Slider the game Stall Catchers allowed players to process information (in this case brain scan images) to find traces of Alzheimer’s disease. The project still made it possible to process 50 times more information than the scientists could have done at the same time, which, if we simplify the thing a little, gives them time to concentrate on the more complex part of the research. . Thanks gamers.
4. “Runes & Stones”: the game that advances research on chemotherapy
The studio behind Cell Slider has developed a second game that looks like a kind of Candy Crush and who is called Rocks & Runes. The goal is to destroy stones to assemble runes (gems) of different colors, at least that’s what the player thinks he’s doing. But in the back kitchen the player’s decisions are analyzed and taught to an algorithm, and they represent the processing of chemical compounds that may be effective or ineffective in chemotherapy research. In summary you have fun but at the same time you train an algorithm to process super important data.
5. The video game developed to detect glaucoma
This is the original idea of a team of Japanese researchers who focused on creating a mobile game that can detect glaucoma (the second reason for blindness in France). Presented as a shooting game in four levels, the scores and reactions of the player are analyzed on more than 16 criteria and this one gives a note between 1 to 5 to the player once he has finished his game: if the player obtains 4 or 5 he is advised to consult a doctor. Playing to monitor your health you will admit that it is still well thought out.
6. Fortnite Blue Angel
No need to introduce Fortnite, this game adored by the youngest. During the period of confinement, child abuse has increased a lot and the youngest have a lot of trouble getting in touch with the outside world to let them know. This is where the association “l’enfant bleu” entered the scene on Fortnite by using an avatar representing a blue angel in which young players could come and confide. The secret operation was then relayed quite discreetly by several streamers and players followed by many young spectators. Available 24 hours a day every day, the blue angel was then a “secure” way to report abuse and it was thanks to concerted work between the association and the streamers that it was a success.
7. “Glyph”: the game that studies the alphabets of the whole world
And why not research on writing? It is the project of the studio which created Glyph, another “citizen science” game, understand by this a game that studies the responses of players like several examples mentioned above. By asking players to classify symbols from all the alphabets in the world by shape or logic (rounded together, vertical together…) the game allows researchers to understand how alphabets have evolved and how our brain reacts to letters. It’s sharp.
8. Sony who planted a forest for the release of the game “Horizon Forbidden West”
Sony’s ‘Play and Plant’ initiative involved planting a tree each time a player obtained a particular trophy from the game Horizon Forbidden West (a trophy is an immaterial reward obtained during the game, in this case a trophy obtained at the very beginning of the adventure). Three forests in the United States but also in other countries such as France were targeted to replant a tree for each trophy (every 5 players in France), a rather nice initiative especially since it did not require any financial participation from the players apart from playing the game and sharing evidence on Twitter.
9. “Ghost of Tsushima” Developers Named Japanese Island Ambassadors
By developing a game that tells the life of the inhabitants of Tsushima during the Mongol invasions (an authentic story) the developers of Ghost of Tsushima probably didn’t expect to get such a distinction. If the scenario is very quickly emancipated from historical reality and the map of the game differs greatly from that of the original island, the mayor of this one appreciated that his story is told around the world thanks to the game. Both directors have been decorated and named Tsushima tourism ambassadors (and all the team invited to the island) and a tourist route project around the game has been created. Reviving the tourist economy of an island and making its history known worldwide is not something we do every day.
10. Eco-responsible games
It’s hard to deny it: the video game industry pollutes enormously, whether it’s its production of consoles or energy resources for streaming. Several games have made donations, awareness-raising operations or adaptation of their means of development in the face of these problems, but some have squarely made it the subject of their scenario: Bee Simulator, Little Mouse encyclopedia or Endling : Extinction is forever where you play as the world’s newest mother fox trying to save her litter in a universe destroyed by humans. A game that made a lot of people cry and nevertheless made people aware of the realities of deforestation or pollution for the animal world.