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How playing sudoku can help Mercy Corps

United States, September 30, 2009

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Sasha Ingber

Willamette Week
September, 2009

Portland-based Mercy Corps announced this week it has established a partnership with a new website whose visitors amuse themselves with online games like Sudoku, Solitaire, and Bubble Burst.

Why is Mercy Corps affiliated with GamesThatGive? Because the concept behind GamesThatGive is that its game players generate money for charitable organizations through the time they spend playing these games and through performance bonuses they earn.

“In the first six months, we are anticipating [raising] $8,000 to $10,000,” says Jacob Colie, Mercy Corps internet marketing director. “It’s all about people adopting this as their casual gaming form of choice.”

Mercy Corps has partnered before with other donation sites such as The HungerSite and Kiva, but this is an innovative move for the 30-year-old organization. GamesThatGive CEO Adam Archer says he got the idea for his website after two years of backpacking through Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

“I started asking people why they didn’t help charities they believed in,” Archer says. “Everyone says, ‘Well, I wish I was doing more but I don’t have the time or the money or I don’t have the outlet to help charities the way I want to.’”

His solution? To “leverage existing behavior,” or give philanthropic motives to game players.