By CCN.com: As recent events have framed video games in a bad light, it’s vital to remind ourselves that they can be a source of immeasurable good. A case in point is a group of No Man’s Sky players who’ve rallied their collective might to make a sizeable donation to a children’s hospital in Sydney, Australia.
Our community raised more money than they needed to put up a billboard to thank Hello Games…
And they used the extra money to support an amazing charity
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 13, 2019
From No Man’s Sky Billboard to Benevolence
To thank No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games for its persistent efforts in redressing the space-faring exploration game from a disastrous launch, 375 community members raised $6,000 to erect a temporary billboard in proximity to Hello Games’ Guildford, UK offices.
The GoFundMe initiative raised more money than required and the excess was donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and spent on an assortment of 72 PlayStation 4 consoles and games. Delivered to Randwick Children’s Hospital yesterday, the equipment is set to improve the lives of bed-ridden children.
A Rallying Cry for the Gaming Community
As detached politicians make accusations of a spurious link between video games and the recent wave of harrowing mass shootings afflicting the U.S., gaming becomes the scapegoat for an issue whose roots we can trace elsewhere. Peer-reviewed studies attest to this.
It’s an old refrain that harks back to the 1990s and other than distracting the masses from an issue with such a clear solution for anyone that lives outside of the U.S., it’s a rallying call for developers and games to defend their medium.
The mainstream media tends to stereotype gaming as a culture of ever-more violent shooter-playing teenagers whose alt-right vitriol bleeds over into horrific real-world atrocities. In the case of No Man’s Sky, the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
That’s not to say the actions of a benevolent No Man’s Sky group associated with a game known for cosmic navel-gazing exploration admonishes the entire gaming community. As a result, it would be naive to ignore the rampant toxicity, misogyny, and burgeoning extremists views that fester in fringe groups.
First person shooters have been flooding the video game market for the past decade.
I don't hate them or believe something stupid like they cause violence, but developers really need to stop pushing out hundreds of them every year
— Civence (@CivenceX) August 9, 2019
Tbh, I don't like the idea of White Phosphorus being a killstreak in the next COD game. Ofc it's a video game about war, but after Spec Ops: The Line demonstrated very clearly what that substance did to the human body, I'm not excited at the prospect of it being used in mp.
— natalie raine aka clown princess (@Lyneriaa) August 2, 2019
Nor does its mean developers are off the hook from taking responsibility for weighing up the morality of using overt displays of violence in their games.
What this small gesture from No Man’s Sky players shows is that gaming can be about kindness alongside creating communities overflowing with positive human interactions, and this is worth remembering.