Games For Gaza, an itch.io fundraiser for Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP) that features 256 items ranging from games, stories, soundtracks, game assets, and more, reached its first, $10,000 goal within hours of its October 27 launch.
Itch.io is known for its fundraising bundles—in 2020 it sold both a $5 bundle for racial justice and anothe to help recoup funds for developers after GDC 2020 was canceled. Just this past summer, it offered 300 games/visual novels/art packs for $60, the proceeds of which went to the LGBTQIA+ creators of said content. So, it’s not surprising that itch.io would offer a $10 bundle to help support UK-based MAP, an organization that offers essential health care for Palestininans.
What is surprising, however, is how fast the bundle reached and surpassed its $10,000 goal. It was released on October 27 at around 11 a.m. EST, and by 3:15 p.m. EST bundle sales had raised more than $17,000. All of that money will go to Medical Aid For Palestinians.
“MAP is also committed to bearing witness to the injustices caused by occupation, displacement and conflict. We speak out in the UK and internationally, and ensure Palestinian voices are heard at the highest levels, to press for the political and social barriers to Palestinian health and dignity to be addressed,” the official MAP website reads.
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Games For Gaza was created in response to the increase in regional violence that has taken place in Palestine after Hamas, an Islamic political and military organization governing the Gaza strip (home to over 2 million Palestinians who were displaced there), attacked Israel on October 7, killing nearly 1,500 people. Since October 7, Palestine (specifically the Gaza Strrip) has been facing a nearly endless onslaught of bombings courtesy of the Israeli Defense Forces. At the time of writing, the Palestinian death toll has reportedly surpassed 7,000.
The Games For Gaza bundle includes Arcade Spirits; a romantic comedy narrative game; Muddledash, a four-person co-op octopus racing game; You Are A Wizard, a “game where you’re a dang ol’ wizard;” two-player game In The Air Tonight; and over 200 more TTRPGs, RPGs, soundtracks, journaling games, interactive novels, and more. It’s all just $10—and for an undeniably good cause. The bundle’s organizer, a game designer named Esther, shared a post on X that read, “My one request for folks supporting this bundle, either monetarily or by boosting it, is that you also find other ways to act up for Palestine. Call your representatives and urge them to call for an end to the occupation. Learn about Palestine. Support Palestinian organizers.”
Reached by Kotaku, Esther commented:
I’m honestly thrilled that the goal got met so fast; I had high hopes for us to surpass the initial goal, but one can never be totally sure of what will happen. I am so deeply grateful to everyone who contributed their games and to everyone who has bought the bundle thus far. I hope we can raise much more for Medical Aid For Palestinians, and that we can all take actions in addition to supporting this bundle to be in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Correction 10/27/2023 4:10 p.m. ET: The story originally published with the wrong headline and an erroneous goal figure.
Update 10/27/2023 4:15 p.m. ET: Added comment from organizer.