Social games are big business – they also represent a chance for people to donate quickly and easily as part of their entertainment experience. Users are accustomed to buying items in-game on Facebook with Zynga’s Farmville, Cityville and Poker. Now they can send payments to the disaster effort in Japan by purchasing virtual sweet potato crops, cows and radishes.
Last year there was some mistaken controversy over donations for Haiti (in excess of $2.5 million) via Zynga games. This time around Zynga will no doubt be careful to ensure the message is heard that money raised will directly help the Japanese effort. And with the phenominally successful Cityville included, this round of in-game fundraising should well exceed what was raised then.
If the social gaming and ‘gamification‘ trend continues, tying up play with fundraising will represent a increasingly lucrative potential revenue-stream for the not-for-profit sector, still suffering the effects of the recession.
Social gaming giant Zynga has joined the Internet’s efforts at donating to Japanese Tsunami relief tonight, by enabling in-game donations through virtual good buying in Zynga games like FrontierVille, FarmVille and CityVille as of 7pm PST. 100% of the virtual goods purchase prices will be donated to Tsunami relief. Zynga will be specifically partnering with Save the Children to raise money for its Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children Emergency Fund. … Read More
Japanese tsunami picture via the British Red Cross