As part of a marathon stream on Twitch this week, video game developers Bungie raised just over $400,000 in four hours to be donated to Saint Jude’s hospital. The event is a week-long online and in person convention that asks viewers for donations to charity while video game ‘speed runners’ or online personalities play video games 24 hours a day for nearly 7 days straight.
What Is Guardian Con?
This event is called Guardian Con, and their website states that they are Florida’s premier gaming convention. This yearly event happens in Florida to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital and is one of many that have a similar structure. Games Done Quick is another online streaming-based charity event that happens several times a year where viewers are asked to donate money to support the cause, or for special incentives relating to the game that is being played.
Guardian Con’s goal this year is $3 million, and as of Friday morning, they are less than $1 million away with several days to go. The event ends on June 23rd at noon.
Who Is Bungie, and How Did They Receive So Much?
Bungie is a video game developer most known these days for their popular first-person shooter series, Destiny. Destiny and Destiny 2 were both wildly popular on consoles an PC, but old school gamers will remember Bungie for their long partnership with Microsoft and developing some of the best Halo games in the series.
Bungie was given a four-hour time slot in the Guardian Con schedule to showcase their latest expansion to the Destiny 2 world, Shadowkeep, and build hype. When companies like Bungie get time slots viewers are often rewarded for their donations, which is what happened here.
For a $10 donation, viewers would receive a code that would give them a new and unique emblem within the Destiny 2 game itself. Anyone who donated $100 was entered into a chance to win a signed collectors edition of Destiny, Destiny 2, or Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. And if you had a really deep wallet and wanted to share it, for $5,000 the donor and up to four others could tour Bungie’s studio in Bellevue, Washington.
Why Is This So Popular?
People love watching others play video games. Twitch is an online platform now owned by Amazon that allows gamers to stream themselves playing almost any video game, with live commentary or video.
It is the 31st most popular website online right now, and the 14th most popular site in the US with an average of 46 billion (yes, billion with a b) minutes watched per month. Gamers and popular streamers saw a huge opportunity for doing good from their favorite platform and decided to take it and run. Last year, famous streamer Ninja received a single donor donation for $100,000 and offered to get tattoos if Guardian Con hit their ‘stretch’ goals. Games Done Quick has raised nearly $20 million for charity since 2015.
Video games will always be popular, and gamers have found a way to combine their love of gaming with helping others. When this happens, the charities are the ones who win.