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How playing video games can support Ukraine

Words by Smiley Team

Who would have guessed that playing a video game could be a way to help with the conflict in Ukraine?

Fortnite owner Epic Games announced on 21 March the company would donate all proceeds from in-game sales to aid humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Within a few days, the move had led to more than £53 million raised for charities on the ground to lend support in Eastern Europe.

“Xbox is joining us in this effort and is committing their net proceeds for Fortnite during this time, so that we can get more aid to the people of Ukraine," said a statement on the Fortnite website.

“[The organisations] are on the ground providing emergency aid, including health support, food and clean water, essential supplies, legal aid, and shelter. More organizations will be added to this list in the coming weeks.”

[Read about more initiatives supporting Ukraine]

Money raised is going to Direct Relief, Unicef, United Nations World Food Programme, and The UN Refugee Agency, with Fortnite promising to send funds "as quickly as we can".

Fortnite is a survival game that has become something of a cultural phenomenon since its release in 2017, and to date there are an estimated 125 million players worldwide.

The fundraising initiative from Epic Games includes cosmetic in-game items and virtual currency bought in a shop or online, and will last until 3 April.

Xbox has joined Epic Games by donating the fee it would usually take on items bought by players in Fortnite.

“Boom! THANK YOU to Epic Games and hundreds of millions players of Fortnite universe for this strong support while we defend ourselves from russian attack on peaceful Ukraine”, said Ukrainian government official Oksana Markarova in a tweeted response to the announcement. 

More games giving back

Humble Bundle, the company that sells collections of video games online, has raised money for Ukraine selling a bundle of 120 games and items worth more than £1,800. It requires a minimum donation of only £30.52 to purchase, which has so far raised more than £10m exclusively for charities benefitting Ukraine. And Brandon Sheffield, creative director of Necrosoft Games, created the bundle, which raised £4.7m by offering up 1,000 games in exchange for a minimum donation of £7.56.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: To support people hit by the invasion of Ukraine, donate to the DEC.

SUPPORT: If you want to offer more direct assistance, check out volunteering opportunities with the DEC.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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