The wallet is a bit bare but the heart is in its right place. Enter the online games which are proving to be a novel way to show your social side by giving to charitable causes. Games are being redefined. They are no longer about fun and entertainment. Now, it’s about online simulation, distance education, and training for a vocation. So, why shouldn’t philanthropic causes pick up the idea and run with it.
Most of the web runs on the wagon train of advertising which in turn is based on page hits and click-throughs. Charitable websites that host games tap into the same stream of revenue; but instead of putting it on the profit sheet they donate it to the causes they support.
For you and me with a social conscience but tight purse strings, these five educational games sites are a win-win game. We get to have some fun (or learn something) and waste time, all the while contributing a little to charity.
I was wrong about just having fun. As Freerice shows, it can also be about improving your knowledge every day. A series of multiple choice quizzes on English, Art, Chemistry, Geography, Math, and other languages are thrown at you. You can pick the subject of your liking. Each correct answer helps to donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. The difficulty level of the questions goes up progressively.
This way, Freerice is trying to meet its two important goals – provide education and also end world hunger. Freerice.com is also the most popular website in this niche and thus gets a lot of visitors. So, you can appreciate that even 10 grains of rice does add up.
Charitii [No Longer Available]
Charitii is a crossword-style word puzzle. You have the question on top and four possible answers. Pick the right clue and start racking up the points. As you play on, you also go up the levels. The points are added up and help to support a cause. Charitii allows you to pick that cause via the CharitiiChooser – it could be clean drinking water, food, protecting the rainforests, or even education.
Charitii has a database of 10,000 such puzzles so you won’t run out of points to contribute in a hurry. Check out their achievements and the FAQ to read in detail how the site works and the causes it supports.
Aid to Children
This online charitable website hosts a simple, no frills vocabulary game that takes you through 26 questions (difficulty levels). Your progress and contributions get listed in a box on the right. Every correct answer puts 25 cents in the kitty. The focus of the organization is on children, especially those that are victims of war, disease and disaster. As the site says, it only takes 25 cents to feed a child a single meal.
I am a bit skeptical if the site is still active as the donation totals are only reflected till March 2009. In any case, you don’t lose anything but instead walk away with a better vocabulary.
World hunger gets more support. And so does your effort to improve your knowledge. The site is searching for a sponsor, so right now it’s on fun mode only. Answer a series of general knowledge questions on geography; each correct answer (would have) donated 1 spoon of flour to the needy. Let’s hope the site finds a sponsor, because it adds to the list of philanthropic games.
Help Thirst [No Longer Available]
Helpthirst.com helps to focus your attention on the world’s shortage of drinkable water and also work on your own focus along the way. It is basically a memory training exercise. The game is really easy to begin with. A numeric data is displayed for a short while and you have to memorize the number. Next, you have to enter the correct number using the on-screen keypad or your computer’s. Each correct answer donates a cup of water (100ml) that goes to those in need in the developing world and disaster areas. The numbers get progressively larger with each level, so it’s a great way to improve your number memory.
These educational game sites have helped to spread awareness about the game of philanthropy. Games are again proving that with a bit of tweak here and there, they can be real powerful tools. The ease with which you can play them, makes the suitable for all age groups.
Do you know of any other game that spreads the message of charity and social giving? Let us know.
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