I work at a public relations (PR) agency in Boston and for the past few years the majority of my clients have been gaming companies. One of my first clients was Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, which produces more traditional pen-and-paper games like Dungeons & Dragons and trading card games like Magic: The Gathering. More recently, however, my primary clients are video game development companies that specialize in massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs).
The video game industry is huge – in the US and around the world. According to NPD, one of the leading analysts in this space, the US game industry posted sales of almost $18 billion in 2007 (and this number doesn’t even include PC game revenues)!
Working in the industry I’ve also learned about how popular video games are among the US troops, which makes a lot of sense. When you’re stationed in a foreign country, away from your family and friends for long periods of time, with significant down time, video games are probably a welcome distraction.
I work with the media on a daily basis. A key indicator of the popularity of games among the military, for me, has been the fact that Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper published just for the military, actually has a regular section called Stars and Stripes GAMER to deliver video game news/features to the troops – pretty sweet.
With all of that said, I can finally can get to my point.
At work today while scouring over dozens of new video game news stories on the net, I stumbled across a Kotaku.com post about a wonderful program from CheapAssGamer.com (CAG). In a nutshell, CAG has kicked off a campaign to encourage people to donate used video games to the troops in Iraq! Once they arrive, soldiers are taking photos of themselves posing with the games. There are already a handful of photos posted on Flickr.com.
I also just stumbled across a post on the Stars and Stripes GAMER website about how Nintendo donated 10 Wiis to the troops recently (although I think with all of the moolah Nintendo is probably making from the sale of the Wii, they could have spared a few more than 10).
Regardless, giving some entertainment and enjoyment to the soldiers who keep us safe with programs like this from CheapAssGamer.com makes me proud to work in the video game industry and, as they say, proud to be an American!
To the troops – thank you 🙂