There are two things in my life that are constant. The first is my Xfinity Triple Play Deals, which I need for just about everything. The second one is my love for video games. I don’t quite remember when I got into gaming. It may be as early as 1993 when I got my first Nintendo console. I remember spending time playing Super Mario, Tetris, and Contra for hours on an end. Since then video games have come a long way. Every system has one common characteristic: constant evolution. The better graphics, better consoles, better gameplay and better game mechanics of today are the result of a working system. And as a gamer, as an end-user, we are just as much part of that system as the game developers.
Like any community, the gaming community requires the support of its constituents. Every member of the community has a unique position to support gaming and the community as a whole. While giving back to the gaming community may seem confusing or ineffectual, it is important for its survival.
Here are 5 ways gamers can give back to the community:
- Buying licensed copies of games
- Donating to Gamer Charities
- Making In-game purchases
- Beta testing volunteering
- Honest reviews
Let’s explore each way separately.
1. Buying licensed copies of games
Piracy is not only a crime, but it is also viciously irresponsible. Pirated copies of games hurt the economics of the game developers involved in their creation. The process of developing a video game is long and complex and involves heavy use of human/electronic resources. The use of all these resources is a cost that game developers have to bear in order to create games. In fact, the bigger and better the game, the higher the cost of resources involved in its production. When you illegally download a cracked version of a game using a Torrent client, you are being irresponsible. First, you are directly hurting the game developer, which needs revenue from sales to keep making games. Next, you hurt the idea of fair use, where a person who has actually paid for the game should benefit. By downloading pirated versions of the game, you hurt the game’s marketers, distributors, and retailers as well. So if you are a gamer, and want to give back to the gaming community, DO NOT download pirated games.
2. Donating to gamer charities
One of the ways to give back to the gaming community is to contribute to established gamer charities. There are many such charities that exist based on the donations of gamers and are aimed at making society better. One such charity is the Gamers Give Back Tour. It partners with charities like Child’s Play Charity, bringing gaming to hospitals for children. This is particularly encouraging for terminally ill children. The charity operates on the premise that gaming can make the life of children with life-threatening diseases better. Professional gamers participate and host special events or celebrations to emphasize how gaming can be helpful to such children. They deliver donated gifts and share their passion for gaming with ill children. Charities like this are for a noble cause and reflect well on the gaming community while helping others.
3. Making In-game purchases
Making in-game purchases is a great way to support game developers. Those of you who play on Steam know that games like Dota2 are free to play. They also contain the options to purchase in-game cosmetic effects and items. When a game is free-to-play, it foregoes any revenue it may have collected if the game were pay-to-play. In such situations, developers offer in-game purchases to add a stream of revenue to support them. While some studios like EA make it an annoyance, the fact remains that many smaller studios rely heavily on items purchased in-game. Without them, the possibilities of improvement on the game and further development of new games are inhibited. So if you play a lot of free-to-play games, support the developers by making in-game purchases.
4. Beta testing volunteering
When a new game comes out of the development phase, it enters into the testing phase. Many big studios offer paid positions as beta testers, which is a dream come true for gamers. Yet many smaller studios cannot afford to hire permanent beta testers. These studios need your help the most. By volunteering as a beta tester, you not only help them save money but also provide valuable insights. Gamers have a unique insight into games that the developers sometimes lack. As the end user, you can act responsibly by volunteering in the final game creation process. Beta testing can not only be fun, but it can give back to the gaming community as a whole.
5. Honest reviews
Honest reviews are important, whether you are reviewing Xfinity customer service. By giving honest reviews, you not only help the developers but empower other gamers. Honest reviews help other gamers decide whether they are interested in a game or not. If you are a moderate to well-known game critic, it is doubly important for your reviews to be impartial. Objective reviews are key to influencing other gamers responsibly. The gaming community is a very tight-knit one, and irresponsible bad-mouthing can translate into lost revenue for the developers. Good reviews, on the other hand, encourage more gamers to purchase the game. Therefore, it’s important to always give fair, unbiased and honest reviews of games. Other gamers might rely on them to make their choice.