Once again, developers have banded together to prove that the video game industry can be a force for positive social change. In a bundle similar to last year’s Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, a new itch.io bundle for food and medical assistance for Palestine has garnered massive attention, amassing almost 700 games in just a few days. This comes after 11 days of airstrikes from Israel that targeted Palestinian medical centres, libraries, and media buildings, killing at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children.
Alanna Linayre, founder of Toadhouse Games, shared a tweet on May 18, asking for submissions to the bundle, created to raise money to provide food and medical supplies to Palestine. The minimum donation for the bundle is not yet known, but all money donated will be sent to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is dedicated to providing essential supplies and services to Palestine after a 14-year Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Submissions for the bundle were only supposed to be open for 24 hours, but huge support for the bundle has led to submissions staying open for three days so far. Last summer’s Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality raised $8.1 million for Black Lives Matter charities, and this bundle is gaining momentum fast.
The recent violent escalations of Israel’s 53-year occupation of Palestine have caused outrage on social media. Many Arab developers have spoken out about the normalisation of Arab deaths in Western media – something the video game industry is at least partially at fault for, with many games frequently presenting Arabs as nameless enemies, especially in the shooter genre.
A ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestine was reached earlier today, after Israel had repeatedly rejected earlier offers. However, Israel continues to occupy parts of Palestine.
If you’re a developer who wants to submit your game to the bundle, you can fill out this Google form. You can also donate to the UNRWA Gaza Crisis Appeal directly here.
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