And so it has come to this. Whereas people once participated in charity races or walkathons to raise money for needy causes, they can now plop their butt on the couch, pop open a soda and a bag of Cheetos, and play video games.
Game developer Bungie will donate $100 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Haiti for every 1,000 players that grab a controller to play their famous first-person interstellar shoot-’em-up on Halo 3 on Xbox Live this Wednesday and Thursday. The company will cap donations at $77,000.
Despite the apparent killing-to-save-more-lives bit of irony, this is probably a good thing. It gets classically reticent gamers involved in the cause, perhaps enough that they’ll eventually become more politically active. And Bungie gets some much needed moral cachet with their own line of t-shirts. But aren’t charity events like this supposed to be mutually beneficial? Isn’t the runner or walker usually supposed to be an exemplar, someone who tests themselves by getting healthier while gaining more funds to do that for others? Looks like Nintendo just missed a big opportunity. WiiFitathon, anyone?