War Child - Armistice

Exhibited by
Shaima Al-Obaidi
Added
September 20, 2017
Medium of Communication
Gaming. Online
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
UK
Date of first appearance
November and December 2016

SOFII’s view

War Child have teamed up with prominent gaming companies to create peaceful playing sequences. Through their boldness in vision War Child have reached thousands of seasoned gamers to get them engaged with their cause in a novel and innovative way, blazing a trail that could see gaming platforms become a new vector for involvement with donors. With an interactive and technologically-advanced strategy, they were able to bring home their message with real force and raise significant funds as well to benefit children affected by war around the world. 

Summary / objectives

The goal was to raise awareness and money to support children living with the brutality of war. The campaign took place in November and December 2016 and was supported by games including Verdun, World of Tanks, Democracy 3 and 1979 Revolution: Black Friday

Background

War Child is striving for a world where children’s lives are no longer torn apart by war. 

They protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children caught up in conflict and aim to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out and stay to support them through their recovery – helping to keep them safe, give them an education and equip them with skills for the future. 

They understand children’s needs, respect their rights and put them at the centre of the solution – from supporting Syrian children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and promoting justice for young people in detention in Afghanistan. Together with their partners they work in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

They also work with children and young people to change systems and practices that affect them – campaigning on the root causes of conflict and demanding that children are at the centre of humanitarian response. 

Four trailblazing gaming studios joined forces with War Child to smash targets for the industry’s first armistice supporting children affected by conflict. 

Positech Games, Wargaming.net, iNK Stories and BlackMill Games & M2H developed peaceful playthrough options, downloadable content (DLC), or donated a portion of their sales during the campaign to support War Child in its vital work providing education, protection and livelihoods for children forced to live with the brutality of war. 

Wargaming.net raised £68,306.47 by selling packs of three or 10 especially designed peace emblems in the European PC version of World of Tanks as well as creating a ‘For the Children’ bundle for the console version of World of Tanks across Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation.

BlackMill Games & M2H raised £17,018.73 with a seasonal event in Verdun where a dedicated Christmas Truce winter map allowed players to throw snowballs at each other, play football matches, sing along with Christmas carols and send Christmas cards to their loved ones. Players also received a special Christmas truce medal called ‘War Child armistice’ to commemorate the historical event of peace that happened during the First World War, when on one Christmas day troops from both sides lay down their arms, left their trenches and had a game of football.

Creator / originator

War Child.

Special characteristics

War Child worked directly with some of the leading gaming studios to turn the idea of violence in video games on its head. Where often video games allow young people (and adults!) to engage in considerable amounts of virtual violence, the armistice campaign highlighted the importance of non-violent solutions to conflict. The gaming companies developed innovative patches for seasonal events allowing gamers to engage in non-violent in-game events and also donated a portion of their profits to War Child.

Influence / impact

Matt Hergaarden, co-founder M2H says; We're thrilled by the response to our Christmas truce and honuored to be part of the War Child armistice campaign. Over 60,000 players took a break from fighting to play football, throw snowballs and send out 10,465 postcards. On top of all this, we saw 5,541 donations from our community – amazing!

War Child is aiming to build on this peaceful movement so it becomes an annual event where more and more gaming studios and players around the world raise of awareness and money to aid its mission striving for a world with no child’s life torn apart by conflict. 

Results

Over £130,000 raised and the strategy is to be revived in 2017. The campaign won the ‘Most Innovative Fundraising Campaign’ award at the 2017 National Fundraising Awards, sponsored by SOFII.