War Child RE-PLAY

Support War Child’s Coronavirus Crisis Appeal to help children affected by war and COVID-19

Today is the final day to get involved in the fundraising efforts of War Child UK.

The charity – which is “striving for a world where children’s lives are no longer torn apart by war” – is this year “harnessing the power of gaming” to raise funds for its newly launched Coronavirus Crisis Appeal. 

“War Child’s Coronavirus Crisis Appeal is a direct response to the crisis in war zones around the world,” the organisation says via a press release. “For children affected by war, the long-term impacts of the pandemic risk life-long damage to physical and mental health as well as stripping children of their basic rights, including access to education and healthcare.

“War Child’s teams are on the ground making sure families get the vital protection they need to make it through this terrible time. With the majority of the UK population currently in lockdown, there has never been a better time for people to pick up a control and game for good.”

Supporting the charity is a Steam sale, with support from Double Fine, Chucklefish, Motion Twin, and Raw Fury. There are also daily War Child UK Livestreams via Twitch and streamer / public fundraising livestreams via Tiltify.

“We protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children caught up in conflict,” the charity says of its ethos. “We aim to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out, and stay to support them through their recovery – helping to keep them safe, give them an education, and equip them with skills for the future.

“War Child UK supports children whose lives have been torn apart by war. The specialist gaming team has innovative fundraising partnerships across the PC, console and mobile industries, as well as through streaming and support from the gaming community and to date has brought in a massive $4.3million through gaming”.

The coronavirus is affecting the games industry all over the world and in a myriad of ways. In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled as has GDC and EGX Rezzed  – although it subsequently ran as a digital event – and Develop:Brighton 2020 has been postponed to November. Both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events. Gamescom, however, still hopes to proceed as planned. 

Studios like Bungie, EA, and Rockstar have implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. The increase in people working from home and/or self-isolating, however, has put a strain on online services like Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online

A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC. Sony says it will do “all we can” to support the individuals on the frontlines of battling COVID-19, and EA has pledged up to $2 million in order to support global Coronavirus relief efforts.

UK industry trade bodies Ukie and TIGA have also produced guidance to support employers and their staff during the pandemic.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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