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GamesAid joins Mashable at Mindshare UK’s #MSHUDDLE event

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This month, GamesAid was invited to join Mashable at Mindshare UK’s November HUDDLE event in central London. A jam-packed day of intimate and no-holds-barred discussions about the future of media, this year’s theme, Huddle for Good, was an exploration of how media can assist in and serve as an agent for social good.

The GamesAid and Mashable session focused on the Gaming for Good movement, and we sent GamesAid Trustee Tracey McGarrigan to join in the discussion.

“The very reason GamesAid was established was to harness and champion the talents and energy of our industry in order to inspire people to be creative or take on a challenge and raise money for great causes” said Tracey.

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“Video games themselves continue to be challenged culturally, particularly in mainstream media and I’m not saying we haven’t got a lot of work still to do to change many perceptions of gaming, but GamesAid and those who actively get involved with us or the Gaming for Good movement demonstrates that our industry can have a positive meaningful social impact, and can educate audiences around the world.”

Led by Mashable’s Jack Gillespie, the HUDDLE discussion began with a look at how modern gaming audiences don’t just play games at home, but they are playing on their mobile devices whilst travelling, or are spectators in huge auditoriums at eSports events.

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“Never before have we had the opportunity to reach such large global audiences, and now is the time to show that games aren’t just tools for entertainment but can educate and empower too” said Tracey.

The conversation turned to focus on welcoming female or disabled players into eSports and discussed ways to support them by encouraging a zero-tolerance stance towards abusive commentary, similar to UEFA’s #SayNoToRacism messaging, within gaming communities, and to also offer them the same opportunities as male competitors.

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“GameAid has always been about not just saying things but doing things. Our members get outta their chairs and run marathons, sing in choirs, or hold bake sales to raise money – but we are also always looking for new ideas, initiatives, and partnerships that will positively engage with audiences. For example, the new Football Manager 2017 game has the logos of our charities on the ad hoardings around the football pitches in the game. We are also seeing more games with strong female leading characters, or games that deal with disability or mental health as their subject matter. We are supporting other publishers and developers who want to create special content for GamesAid that doesn’t just raise money, but raises awareness of what we can do when we work together” Tracey added. “We will continue to share the message that gaming should be inclusive and be accessible for everyone, and we take the responsibility to educate people about the good aspects of games and our industry wherever we can. Our work with our charities doesn’t just stop at giving them a cheque, but continues with discussion that helps the young people they work with feel inspired, just like this Huddle.”

Big thanks to Jack Gillespie, Alexandra Ford, Melissa Ball from Mashable, and to everyone at Mindshare UK for organizing this event.