“You can buy a nice car, PC, or house but some of these people are in their twenties and have made £10 million from their video game and you just think 'Give one percent away to charity for fuck's sake.'”
- Democracy 3 dev Cliff Harris says in an interview with Kotaku UK that the game industry has the power to do a lot of good in the world.
Cliff Harris’ studio Positech Games is one of 4 developers working with War Child to raise money to help children affected by conflict. Between November 21 and December 3, the profits from his company’s game Democracy 3 will be donated to the charity.
Harris said that both major publishers and successful indie game developers could easily be doing a lot more to benefit the less fortunate. Working with War Child or other charities could benefit both those in need and help change some of the negative perceptions charities have about video games.
Harris explained that it takes £18,000, roughly $22,349, to build one school in the Central African country of Cameroon. In the past, Harris has donated money to do just that. He says that even a fraction of the profits from a major game release like Civilization VI could build hundreds of schools in places like Cameroon.
“I've never been to Cameroon, I've never even been to Africa but I like to think rationally 'Am I just going to donate to something because I heard about it in the pub' or am I going to think I can do some good here, where does my money go furthest.”
Charities, he also noted, would also benefit from being more willing to work with the video game industry. While working to raise money through Humble Bundle a few years back, he said one charity rejected his help because it didn’t want to be associated with the violence tied to video games.
“I don't make violent games. I thought that's ridiculous but then loads of people, especially older people, don't know anything about games,” said Harris. “I would guess that a lot of charity money is from older people and also from people leaving money in their will and [the charities] worry that such people worry about games.”