City of Heroes Meta’s Verse: Real World Hero
Tis the season of giving. Communities around the world are getting together to show support for causes both local and international. The online community is no exception. For the second year in a row the City of Heroes community is getting together to support some high profile charities. Last year Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth put together Real World Hero after being inspired by comments about how nice the game community is and the various charitable causes they’re involved in. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth to find out more about Real World Hero.
In their first year Real World Hero supported three charities. This year one was added that wasn’t able to be included in the previous year because they didn’t have a Paypal account set up to accept the donations. Here is a small rundown of the charities Real World Hero is supporting.
Child’s Play – Started by the makers of the webcomic Penny Arcade in 2003. Child’s Play donates games and books for sick children in hospitals around the world.
Donate Games – Sells new and used games to fund research and create support networks for sufferers of rare genetic diseases.
Operation Gratitude – A California based organization that sends thousands of care packages to United States Service Members serving in hostile areas and on Navy ships.
Heifer International – Helping end world hunger and poverty through livestock training and the guarantee they will pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need.
So you might be asking yourself, why these charities? I asked Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth this very question and basically it comes down to picking organizations that the gaming community would be interested in. Mr. Wentworth said that “Child’s Play and Donate Games were an easy fit.” Mrs. Wentworth added, “We also know a lot of military men and women that play the game, so Operation Gratitude was a good fit as well.” So then why Heifer International? It all came down to wanting to offer more of a variety for the international community.
How it works
Thanks to PayPal and ChipIn, Real World Hero is able to function without ever coming into contact with any money themselves. All four charities are able to accept donations directly through Paypal so you don’t have to worry about giving out any credit card details or making a run to the bank.
This year in addition to Heifer International they’ve added an auction feature. There are over fifty items up for auction which were donated by Think Geek, Jones Soda, Things From Another World and several individuals. There is over $1,000 in bids currently and less than two weeks to go until the end of the auctions. Mr. Wentworth is, “fairly certain that there are donors out there waiting patiently to strike as the auction closes.” It sounds like this is an exciting new feature that may see more growth next year.
In addition to that feeling you get after donating, the City of Heroes developers have themselves gotten involved. Giving a gold title in game to one character on each account that donates. Ocho, one of the devs has been donating an hour of his own time each day to go to servers with handing out the gold titles.
The Facts, Figures and Dates
Last year Real World Hero and the City of Heroes community raised over $10,000. Blowing away the goals Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth had originally in the first three days. The last day for donations is January 1st, 2011 however the auction is ending before that. All of the auctions will close at the same time at 12 midnight eastern standard time (EST) on December 18th 2010.
The Community Lends A Hand Getting The Word Out
When it comes to getting the word out in the open about Real World Hero Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth use every avenue available to them. The official City of Heroes forums are one of the first and most important places they can release information on while also taking advantage of the community based radio stations like The Cape and KJSR.net.
One player – Samuraiko created a video which was posted on Youtube. And an Architect Entertainment (AE) arc has been created in City of Heroes by Hercules. Others have been getting the word out by putting up the Real World Hero banners on their various websites, Facebook pages and on Twitter.
I asked Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth about the future of Real World Hero and though it was too early to give any defined answers they did say there were eager to see how the new additions perform this year. While they haven’t been promoting it themselves they have heard that other players have been spreading the word about Real World Hero to other MMOs. Currently the pair lead busy lives but they certainly wouldn’t rule out the idea of expanding to other games in the future.
It can be said that this is a perfect example of a great community getting together and doing marvelous things. I’m excited to see where this grassroots group leads. And fully intend on adding my name to the donor list. If this article has inspired you to donate or you’re interested in finding out more go to http://realworldhero.com.
Meta’s Verse is written by Meticulous Meta who lives in Atlas Park with her dog Snuflé