By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
G-Haven eSports (G-Haven), a Baltimore social impact eSports organization, recently teamed up with M.A.P Technologies to raise money for TeamoTherapy, a Baltimore-based charity organization that provides consoles, controllers and video games for cancer patients in local hospitals.
G-Haven, which was established in 2020, aims to transform gamers into socially-conscious individuals who game with a purpose. The organization empowers gamers to create positive social change in their communities.
“In general, our focus is to demonstrate how gaming can be used as a tool to create social impact, and the first way that we’re doing that is through our fundraising model called Game for Good,” said Dexter Carr, CEO and founder of G-Haven.
Following the success of G-Haven’s pilot Game for Good fundraiser in November, Carr decided to enlist the help of M.A.P. Technologies so more of the Baltimore City area could be involved.
Game for Good is a fundraising platform that streamlines game-a-thons. This model differs from traditional game-a-thons in that it takes the focus away from the gamer, and instead emphasizes the social cause.
Gamers pledge their hours while donors pledge their money. Donors have the ability to make a set contribution based on gamers reaching a specified amount of hours, or they can pay a fixed amount per hour played by the gamers.
The TeamoTherapy game-a-thon began on Dec. 20 and lasted seven days. Gamers paid a $1 registration fee, while sponsors signed up to pledge donations. G-Haven set a goal of $1500 to upgrade the gaming equipment that cancer patients use at local Baltimore hospitals.
Aside from raising money, the Game for Good fundraisers are also used to garner more information about the eSports market, which is rapidly growing.
“We are able to add value to the gaming behaviors and habits that gamers already exhibit to empower them to become a force for good, while at the same time, helping us to better understand the gaming market to better engage as people go more toward that direction in the future,” said Carr.
The donors that participate in Game for Good are able to access reports from G-Haven about various gaming habits, behaviors and trends.
Carr intends to continue doing Game for Good fundraisers with TeamoTherapy in the future because its mission aligns with G-Haven’s social impact goals.
He also hopes that other entities, like schools and companies, can employ the Game for Good model when running their own fundraisers.
“Gaming isn’t just for entertainment. Engaging with video games doesn’t just have to be for fun. There are other ways that it can be used,” said Carr. “My hope is that Game for Good could be an example of how that is the case and how gaming isn’t just a waste of time.”
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