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Zynga‘s gamers have donated more than $1.5 million in the past five days for Haitian earthquake relief. They did so by making donations directly from within Zynga’s top four games on Facebook.
Zynga, the biggest maker of social games on Facebook, said that some 300,000 Zynga game players from 47 countries have purchased virtual goods inside the games, with all of the proceeds for the specific game item sales going to the U.N.’s World Food Programme. FarmVille users, including me, donated a total of $1 million. Users in FishVille, Mafia Wars, and Zynga Poker were also able to donate money. Donations were also promoted via all of Zynga’s games, which reach 227 million monthly active users.
The donations reinforce the notion that social networks such as Facebook are extremely well tuned for rallying people around causes. And Zynga’s integration of the donation into the actual game play makes it easy for players to do good while they’re having fun. In FarmVille, for instance, i bought some white corn seeds with real money for the benefit of Haitian relief. Meanwhile, I can now plant those sees in the game to grow crops and make virtual money faster than I could before. For more information, check out Zynga.org.