The last few weeks I’ve been brainstorming ways to use the awesome power of gaming to actually, you know, help people.
Came up with a few ideas to just help the poor as well, not really associated with gaming. So here’s the list of what I’m thinking about creating. Feel free to use any of these ideas locally to help people in your community!
- Short video series about what’s different about poverty in developed countries. Why is it so tough to affect lasting change? Would have to offer positive solutions and be entertaining.
- Charity that provides vouchers for haircuts, manipedi, waxing, or connects esthetician/hairstyling students seeking experience to homeless people who need makeovers, etc. “Look Good Feel Better” for people who don’t have cancer but are recovering from severe life changes like homelessness or other big scary transitions. You’re not going to go confidently into a job interview or important appointment with ragged hair and no makeup! Plus looking like you take care of yourself subconsciously makes people treat you better.
- Charity that supplements the help foodbanks provide by giving grocery store gift cards so people on assistance can buy perishables, not just be given cans ignoring special dietary needs, etc. Need to brainstorm ways to prevent abuse of the system by government.
- Teach new media/game development skills to homeless women and at-risk youth by building up a library of new media teaching materials on dvd and laptop then going in to pre-existing computer labs and helping people learn by going through the material together. Could be combined with opensource efforts like Blender, GIMP, Inkscape.
- Charity that helps people moving on from shelters to housing repair broken social networks by helping them play team-based videogames together. Provides a computer, internet for a year, and a game subscription to their choice of Rift, TERA, WoW, SWTOR, DDO, LOL. Encourages them to use social media to write about their experiences making friends online where nobody has to know their past.
- Charity that takes videos of people on the street and gathers their stories. Then helps connect them to agencies and programs that actually help and provides long-term advocacy. If there are no programs to help people like them, fundraises online for their specific needs using those video interviews.
- Charity Gaming Marathon “Barnraisings” to help people locally fundraise for poor people in their area, with the monies raised going directly to people in need chosen by the marathoners themselves – not some big charity company that gives money to other charities and nobody ever knows the impact on real people’s lives.
Now, to evaluate these ideas for what I can do RIGHT NOW and START SMALL:
- Run a gaming marathon myself and stream it, run another in say, six months, with better publicity – Check
- Make webcam video talks about the issues surrounding poverty in the developed world and put them on youtube – Writing ideas down now, check
- Grab some tutorials about how to learn to make indie games, and go start a club at my local community centre’s computer drop-in. (This would mostly help at-risk youth just because of the area but it would be open to anyone who drops by.)
Now, are these ideas doable? Are they HELL YEAH ideas?
- Hell yeah!
- Have webcam, have things to talk about in an informative and entertaining way, but kinda scared people might not listen if I don’t look presentable. (Haircut, makeup, showered, clean clothes – yes, those things are all challenges for me at times due to the extreme fatigue.)
- I’d LOVE to do this, however getting out of the house physically is sometimes a big challenge! Other challenges? Check with the staff about putting the free software on their computers, then just hope to not be too sick to show up to my own club once or twice a month. LOL!
Maybe I can make a website with links to the resources and be available on skype when I physically can’t walk two blocks to get there, although I’m still worried about it being perceived as disinterest or laziness or all the nasty words people threw at me hurtfully not realizing I have a real, physical illness just because I still look pretty and skinny.