Australia is dealing with terrible bush fires across the entire country right now and people all over the world are stepping up to help. The gaming community is no different, and thousands of people from the Overwatch, Apex Legends, World of Warcraft, Rainbow Six Siege, and Minecraft communities are banding together to get devs to throw in their fair share of support as well.
As best as we can tell, it all started with the /r/Overwatch subreddit. Redditor /u/WippitGuud requested that Blizzard Entertainment make special skins for Jamison “Junkrat” Fawkes and Mako “Roadhog” Rutledge to support relief efforts for the wildfires that are currently ravaging the majority of Australia.
The Overwatch community has done such a charity drive once before. In May of 2018, they announced the “Pink” Mercy skin, a brand-new cosmetic that was fairly different from the other kinds in Overwatch. While most cosmetics could be acquired via loot boxes or special promotions, the only way to get Pink Mercy was by ponying up cold, hard cash.
It was for a good cause, though — the skin raised more than $12 million for breast cancer research at the end of the drive, and now gamers are hoping that Blizzard Entertainment will step up again to run a similar event where everybody wins. What’s more, they’re not the only ones looking to help — several other gaming communities, Twitch streamers, and Esports organizations also want to help out Australia in their time of need.
Following /r/Overwatch’s example, the /r/ApexLegends subreddit made a similar post requesting that Respawn Entertainment create some kind of special item that players can buy in support of charity. In that case, they suggested Gibraltar and Lifeline as prime candidates as these characters are both charged with saving lives with their high-tech equipment.
They weren’t the only ones, though; the /r/wow subreddit suggested that Blizzard Entertainment make a kangaroo companion to support charitable efforts in Australia. The subreddit for Rainbox Six Siege seems to have picked up on the idea from Twitter, asking that Ubisoft make skins for Gridlock and Mozzie and donate the proceeds to Australian relief efforts. And last (though far from least), the /r/Minecraft subreddit unleashed their inner problem solvers and simply listed a bunch of charities that people could donate to.
Other segments of the gaming community have been keen to step up and help Australia as well. As Dexerto reports, streamers, entertainers, content creators, esports organizations, and all sorts of other people in the industry have also decided to do their part to help out.
🔥 AUSTRALIA CURRENTLY TOO LIT 🔥
ALL PROFITS from every Fire order go towards the brave souls combating the devastating fires currently destroying our home
All money goes to @GamerAidAUS who help to distribute it directly to local Firefighters 🚒
— Misfits (@Misfits) January 2, 2020
It would certainly be nice for these gaming companies to create merchandise, in-game skins, and the like to get players to part with their hard-earned dollars for a good cause. Of course, you can absolutely chip in to help right now with any number of options.
As CNET reports, you can start things off by choosing to support one of the firefighting organizations directly:
- New South Wales Rural Fire Service
- Victoria County Fire Authority
- County Fire Service in South Australia
- Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland Inc.
There are several other options as well:
- You can donate to the Australian Red Cross to help with evacuation centers and recovery programs.
- Similarly, the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Appeal can help out and promises to give 100% of the donations to communities that badly need them.
- And, of course, people need to eat — which is why you should also consider chipping in to the food bank in Australia.
And finally, if you want to rep the world’s gaming community specifically, you can also donate directly to Gamer Aid Australia, an organization that is receiving a lot of donations from regular folks all around the world.
Australia has a long road to recovery ahead of it. Hopefully, some (or even better, all!) of these game developers will get together and organize in-game fundraising drives of one fashion or another so that we can do what we can to help those who are desperate for help.