As the death toll rises in Japan from the devastating earthquake and tsunami last week, and the cost of recovery approaches astronomical figures, one small ray of light is seeing how various communities around the world have rallied to help this embattled country and its people. Even in the virtual world , people are opening up their hearts and wallets to help out.
Gamasutra reports that gaming company Zynga has released a several virtual items that players of their seven online games can purchase, the proceeds going directly to Save the Children Japan to help with relief efforts. Zynga has an admirable history of using their social games as a means of collecting donations for various worthwhile causes, from Haiti earthquake relief, a children’s hospital and the SPCA. Check their zynga.org site for more info.
Meanwhile, Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, are encouraging residents of their world to contribute to Japan relief through the purchase of virtual teddy bears. So called “Linden Bears” have long been a prized item in the Second Life community, typically only available directly from staff members of Linden who give them out. These Japan-branded bears are available on their online marketplace here. Each bear costs between L$300 and 3,000, which is the equivalent of about US $1 to $10.
Other fundraisers and benefits look like they are in the works as we go to press. For Second Life, search their calendar for upcoming events.
Written by: rikomatic