Gamers have big hearts. That’s not only because we live sedentary lifestyles — it’s also because we tend to donate big to charity.
Livestreaming website Twitch announced today that its huge community of gamers are no different. Twitch revealed that people using its website to stream donation drives have raised more than $8 million over the lifetime of the company. That money has gone to a variety of causes, including the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Child’s Play Charity, and Doctors Without Borders.
These are decentralized fund drives run by independent organizations. Some of the groups and events that use Twitch include Speed Demos Archive’s charity marathons, AtheneLive’s Gaming For Food, and LoadingReadyRun’s Desert Bus For Hope.
One of the biggest annual events is the Extra Life marathon that has scores of gamers coming together to stream gamings for an entire weekend. Extra Life will hold its 2013 event beginning Nov. 2, and most participants will broadcast live on Twitch.
“Twitch is changing lives by connecting kids in need with gamers who care,” Extra Life founder Jeromy Adams said. “What better community to answer the call for help for kids than one that has never lost touch with their inner child. Twitch is game-changing.”
To help boost Extra Life’s exposure this year, Twitch hill host a designated spot on its homepage dedicated to the charity streamers. Viewers can easily find people raising funds for charity and can then possibly donate themselves.
“Broadcasting on Twitch has given us average 27,000 concurrent viewers during Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick, our two marathons this year,” Speed Demos Archive marathon coordinator Mike Uyama said. “The two events combined have raised over $700,000 for charity.”
Other big gaming philanthropists include KBMOD, which brings together numerous popular Twitch broadcasters into one event. They hold marathons during Extra Life and give away prizes. The group raised $105,421 since 2011.
Representing gamers with disabilities, AbleGamers is another gaming charity that uses Twitch to raise money for gamers that need special equipment to play standard games. The group has raised $40,000 on Twitch alone this year.
“When you look at the causes the Twitch community rallies behind, it covers the entire spectrum,” Twitch director of partnerships Justin Wong said. “Whether it’s for natural disaster relief, autism, cancer, a friend — or even a stranger — in need, there is a game-playing humanitarian making a difference.”