Industry Creates "Gamers Heart Japan" To Aid Disaster Relief

Industry Creates "Gamers Heart Japan" To Aid Disaster Relief

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Game design luminaries and the gaming press are collaborating to produce a special video in support of Japan as it recovers from the earthquake.

Western game design owes a lot to our brethren across the Pacific Ocean. In order to celebrate Japanese culture and ask for donations to the Red Cross to aid the people affected by the disaster, a global initiative in the gaming industry have been working together to produce a 60 minute video called "Gamers Heart Japan." Prominent game designers like Peter Molyneux (Fable), Sid Meier (Civilization) and Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War) will talk about what they love about Japan, and how much they owe the gaming community there. "Gamers Heart Japan" will air on April 3rd on cable channels G4 (US & Canada), SCI FI Australia, SPACE (Canada) and Musique Plus (Canada) as well as here at The Escapist.

"Gamers Heart Japan" was produced by a joint effort organized across the gaming community, with many videogame websites contributing video production and commentary of our own. The Escapist submitted interviews with our staff - including yours truly - as well as helping videogame developers in the Raleigh-Durham area record their own submissions.

While waiting for the "Gamers Heart Japan" special to be shown on The Escapist next week, check out the website and the Twitter feed.

In case you were interested, here's a list of the game developers and websites contributing to the "Gamers Heart Japan."

Jade Raymond - Ubisoft Toronto - Assassin's Creed/Splinter Cell
Dr. Greg Zeschuk - Bioware - Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Star Wars: The Old Republic
Dr. Ray Muzyka - BioWare - Mass Effect/Dragon Age/Star Wars: The Old Republic
Tim Schafer - Double Fine - Brutal Legend/Costume Quest
Ken Levine - Irrational Games - Bioshock
Cliff Bleszinski - Epic Games - Gears of War
Ted Price - Insomniac Games - Ratchet & Clank/Resistance
Siobhan Reddy - Media Molecule - LittleBig Planet
Maxime Beland - Ubisoft Toronto - Assassin's Creed/Splinter Cell
Todd Howard - Bethesda - Fallout 3/Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Peter Molyneux - Lionhead - Fable
Alex Rigopulos - Harmonix - Rock Band
Robin Hunicke - That Game Company - Flower/Journey
Jenova Chen - That Game Company - Flower/Journey
Evan Wells - Naughty Dog - Uncharted
Ed Boon - NetherRealm Studios - Mortal Kombat
Sid Meier - Firaxis - Civilization

Gametrailers.com
IGN.com
Gamespot.com
GameInformer.com
Joystiq.com
Kotaku.com
Destructoid.com
Elecplay.com
G4tv.com
Reviewsontherun.com
MTV.com
TheEscapistMag.com
Wired.com
Games.Yahoo.com
Wired.com/gaming/
TheECA.com
TotallyRadShow.com
Shacknews.com
EGMNow.com
USAToday.com (GameHunters)
Bitmob.com
TheTorontoSun.com
UGO.com
Metacafe.com
Youtube.com
Facebook.com

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Sounds good. I'm interested in and looking forward to what they have to say.

Interesting endeavor, hopefully it goes well.

I can see why The Escapist and the gaming community in general is all for Japan, but people seem to be forgetting the ongoing Libya crisis; Japan's seen the worst, in Libya, things are only just beginning.

no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

CosmicCommander:
Interesting endeavor, hopefully it goes well.

I can see why The Escapist and the gaming community in general is all for Japan, but people seem to be forgetting the ongoing Libya crisis; Japan's seen the worst, in Libya, things are only just beginning.

Only so much we can do about that that we're not doing already or are not allowed to do. Plus there's a difference between a political cause and a humanitarian one. Once Libya's conflict has ended, people will be there to help rebuild as well :3
OT: this is pretty great, no UK channel though? Shame, internet it is.

CosmicCommander:
Interesting endeavor, hopefully it goes well.

I can see why The Escapist and the gaming community in general is all for Japan, but people seem to be forgetting the ongoing Libya crisis; Japan's seen the worst, in Libya, things are only just beginning.

And don't forget the ongoing crises in Syria and Jordan, and Egypt certainly isn't out of the woods yet, either. There's really too much going on right now.

I find it morbidly fascinating that so many people are coming together to help Japan yet we all tend to ignore other troubles like Libya and other tragic situations.

I don't mean that in a cynical way, I just find it interesting as it shows how Japan hits much closer to home for all of us. The situation there has a deeper impact on the whole world, not just the games industry, and while the stuff going on in, say, Libya are also desperate it does speak how the modern world is connected to each other.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what they have to say, though I don't see how talking about it will help (there's the cynic in me). If it'll lead to a donation drive or something, then sure, but wouldn't the money going into production be more helpful? Of course, there is the symbolic meaning behind it, so I guess this is a "it's the thought that counts" kind of thing, which I can totally get behind anyway.

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

that or he is just finishing off a a bucket form KFC

ShenCS:
Only so much we can do about that that we're not doing already or are not allowed to do. Plus there's a difference between a political cause and a humanitarian one. Once Libya's conflict has ended, people will be there to help rebuild as well :3

It IS a humanitarian crisis. I'd consider potentially thousands being slaughtered and maimed to be a one, anyway. I don't think you really understand what is actually going on when you distinguish Libya from Japan as a "political cause"- civilians who have no part in anything are dying. And despite what you think, people can help out in Libya to try to save lives immediately. Organizations like the Red Cross are on the ground, giving medical aid, making sure people can survive and have a livable quality of life while the crisis is going on. I think saving lives now is more important than rebuilding houses.

Tim Latshaw:
And don't forget the ongoing crises in Syria and Jordan, and Egypt certainly isn't out of the woods yet, either. There's really too much going on right now.

True that.

Although I'm concerned about Yemen and Syria, and the potential for things to violently escalate there, I believe keeping our immediate concern on Libya is our highest priority- seeing as the death and destruction is far more widespread than other regimes undergoing a "revolution".

Muco5681:

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

that or he is just finishing off a a bucket form KFC

Yeah... I think he is actually busy delaying Ep. 3. I mean after all, Ep. 3 isnt going to delay itself...

Muco5681:

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

that or he is just finishing off a a bucket form KFC

shhhh

keep it down

he can hear you

<.<
>.>

CosmicCommander:

ShenCS:
Only so much we can do about that that we're not doing already or are not allowed to do. Plus there's a difference between a political cause and a humanitarian one. Once Libya's conflict has ended, people will be there to help rebuild as well :3

It IS a humanitarian crisis. I'd consider potentially thousands being slaughtered and maimed to be a one, anyway. I don't think you really understand what is actually going on when you distinguish Libya from Japan as a "political cause"- civilians who have no part in anything are dying. And despite what you think, people can help out in Libya to try to save lives immediately. Organizations like the Red Cross are on the ground, giving medical aid, making sure people can survive and have a livable quality of life while the crisis is going on. I think saving lives now is more important than rebuilding houses.

Tim Latshaw:
And don't forget the ongoing crises in Syria and Jordan, and Egypt certainly isn't out of the woods yet, either. There's really too much going on right now.

True that.

Although I'm concerned about Yemen and Syria, and the potential for things to violently escalate there, I believe keeping our immediate concern on Libya is our highest priority- seeing as the death and destruction is far more widespread than other regimes undergoing a "revolution".

While I know this is going to sound cruel, Japan is more important to the world than Libya. They have more political, economic, social, and technological relevance than Libya has, and it'd be stupid to not help then in their time of need as this effects everybody, at least in the developed countries. Libya is just Libya, another unstable African country that will probably fall back into instability after the revolution occurs.

Of course, you can't take either situation and say "Libya one is worse, sorry Japan!" because they're both equally terrible. But I'm pretty sure, in the back of your mind, that you know why we're helping Japan first and foremost. It's just how it is.

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

aka episode 3.

CosmicCommander:
Interesting endeavor, hopefully it goes well.

I can see why The Escapist and the gaming community in general is all for Japan, but people seem to be forgetting the ongoing Libya crisis; Japan's seen the worst, in Libya, things are only just beginning.

New Zealand, Darfur and fuck knows how many other places. I always consider these things to be a good intention with very dubious reasoning.

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=5170&p=1 perhaps?

One more reason I'm happy I became a member of the escapist.

...

Delusibeta:

teh_Canape:
no Valve

hm....

Lord Newell must be working on a secret plan for the greater good of the world

all hail Lord Newell

http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=5170&p=1 perhaps?

yeah I know

but it may all be a masquerade

<.<
>.>

Todd Howard I salute you. Along with everyone else helping out of course.

As much as I appreciate what they are doing...

Where was all this support when the Tsunami hit South Asia in 2004? How about recently with the Earthquake in Hati? Why are we picking and choosing which countries to give the most aid to? Just because a lot of cool stuff comes from Japan? I don't understand it at all.

Jumplion:
While I know this is going to sound cruel, Japan is more important to the world than Libya. They have more political, economic, social, and technological relevance than Libya has, and it'd be stupid to not help then in their time of need as this effects everybody at least in the developed countries.

This I can agree with.

However, I think you're becoming a bit confused with my message- I'm not talking in terms of socio-economic leverage and effect on the west here, I'm talking about the humanitarian need. Of course we need to make sure Japan keeps afloat and the rebuilding effort goes well; however, in terms of immediate humanitarian need, Libya is the higher priority.

Libya is just Libya, another unstable African country that will probably fall back into instability after the revolution occurs.

Again, you're speaking in political terms. I'm not thinking about politics here, I'm thinking about civilians and people. The outcome of the revolution isn't something I care too much about right now, it's the thousands of injured and wounded people, the ongoing massacres that we have reason to believe are still occurring; not to mention the three hundred-thousand or so refugees that are in ramshackle camps on the border.

Of course, you can't take either situation and say "Libya one is worse, sorry Japan!" because they're both equally terrible.

The overwhelming majority of the people who will die as a result of the Japanese tsunami have already died. The other few who are at risk are people suffering from malnutrition and the biting cold, with a lack of housing. Japan, being an immensely developed nation, is distributing aid to all who need it as we speak- it has the infrastructure and capability to handle this, along with the help other Governments have already provided.

Libya is a poor nation, in comparison to Japan. It's infrastructure has went kaput. Currently, civilians are being shot by snipers and attacked by nervous soldiers. Mercenaries are being brought in to attempt to quash the uprising, massacring crowds indiscriminately in an attempt to get their paychecks. Morgues are flooded with corpses, their spines snapped in half by machine gun fire. Hospitals are filled with wounded, burnt, and dying civilians.

Which one is in the need of the greatest humanitarian support right now?

And note that when I say "humanitarian support" I'm not even talking about Governments here; private organizations and charities like the aforementioned Red Cross. I just want people to realise that Japan is handling the crisis impeccably, and their people are handling fine (mostly). Can we say the same about Libya?

But I'm pretty sure, in the back of your mind, that you know why we're helping Japan first and foremost. It's just how it is.

And I'll repeat once more- I'm not talking about politics here, I'm talking about humanitarian need.

CosmicCommander:
This I can agree with.

However, I think you're becoming a bit confused with my message- I'm not talking in terms of socio-economic leverage and effect on the west here, I'm talking about the humanitarian need. Of course we need to make sure Japan keeps afloat and the rebuilding effort goes well; however, in terms of immediate humanitarian need, Libya is the higher priority.

Eh, depends. While I know this is a cheap shot and/or a loaded question, can you really say that this doesn't deserve as much humanitarian aid as Libya? It's pretty scary, in all honesty.

You can't say "This place needs more humanitarian aid" without delving into the socio-economic and politicals reasons behind the humanitarian aid. Again, as cruel as this sounds, we'd love to help prevent genocides in Africa and whatnot, but it's just not to our benefit, at least immediately.

Again, you're speaking in political terms. I'm not thinking about politics here, I'm thinking about civilians and people. The outcome of the revolution isn't something I care too much about right now, it's the thousands of injured and wounded people, the ongoing massacres that we have reason to believe are still occurring; not to mention the three hundred-thousand or so refugees that are in ramshackle camps on the border.

So, if I understand correctly, essentially you're saying that we should do the "morally right" thing (because what really is "morally right"?) rather than the "politically sensible" thing? Just as clarification, I think that's what you're going for.

The overwhelming majority of the people who will die as a result of the Japanese tsunami have already died. The other few who are at risk are people suffering from malnutrition and the biting cold, with a lack of housing. Japan, being an immensely developed nation, is distributing aid to all who need it as we speak- it has the infrastructure and capability to handle this, along with the help other Governments have already provided.

Libya is a poor nation, in comparison to Japan. It's infrastructure has went kaput. Currently, civilians are being shot by snipers and attacked by nervous soldiers. Mercenaries are being brought in to attempt to quash the uprising, massacring crowds indiscriminately in an attempt to get their paychecks. Morgues are flooded with corpses, their spines snapped in half by machine gun fire. Hospitals are filled with wounded, burnt, and dying civilians.

Which one is in the need of the greatest humanitarian support right now?

I find that needlessly cruel, in all honesty (which I'm sure could be seen as hypocritical of me, I'm sure) and your bias is clear here. I could easily paint Japan's situation as "worse" with the right wording, that doesn't make it so. Radiation levels could, if not handled properly, can affect more people than just in the Japanese island, the devastation has not ended after the tsunami/earthquake. They're both equally terrible situations, and while I know you're not going for politics here, that's a key component into who gets what here that is unavoidable.

And note that when I say "humanitarian support" I'm not even talking about Governments here; private organizations and charities like the aforementioned Red Cross. I just want people to realize that Japan is handling the crisis impeccably, and their people are handling fine (mostly). Can we say the same about Libya?

Private organizations I can understand, that doesn't (totally) fall into political and economic ties that government agencies fall into.

And I'll repeat once more- I'm not talking about politics here, I'm talking about humanitarian need.

And again, you can't really get much humanitarian aid if it's just not worth it :S If there was a "I dunno" shrug emote I'd give that to you.

It's a sticky situation. Do you send humanitarian aid to those who have a more direct impact on the world economy to protect the world's economic interest and whatnot, or do you send aid to those who need help because it's the morally "right" thing to do?

As much as we'd love to, we can't be in two places at once. It's an admirable, if naive, belief that I wish we could go with. But this is the world, and it's pretty unfair to begin with.

No Bobby Kotick?

Surprise me not

I can see the logic behind your points, and I respect the thinking beneath them. But I'll cut the eight thousand word post, and address all the concerns raised by just quoting the end of your post. But let me just address one thing before I get into this: Fukushima is under control. It is of concern, but it is not any worse than Three Mile Island. The levels of radiation civilians are being exposed to is the same amount one would be the same you'd get from a Ski trip. As long as they protect themselves for the time being, they'll be fine. The plant's not going to get any worse, it's just a matter of making sure enough water keeps being pumped in, and making sure all power is restored.

Jumplion:
And again, you can't really get much humanitarian aid if it's just not worth it :S If there was a "I dunno" shrug emote I'd give that to you.

I think the worth is completely subjective. Too some people, saving lives is the highest priority, to others trying to rebuild a large economy to try to avoid bad repercussions is the greater need.

And trust me, I'm an advocate of Realpolitik myself. I understand that there is a need to ensure Japan is fine. However, we should realise Japan can take care of itself very easily- it has the resources, people, and experience to tackle the reconstruction project that lies ahead.

It's a sticky situation. Do you send humanitarian aid to those who have a more direct impact on the world economy to protect the world's economic interest and whatnot

The thing is, it seems if the economical repercussions won't change, regardless of what we do. I think the worst surge and drop in confidence in the Japanese markets has already happened, and the reconstruction costs will be the same. The only thing we could do to help is give some money to Japan to help lower said costs, which I'm all for. But they do have enough in the bank to go it alone- they can handle this. Can the Libyans?

or do you send aid to those who need help because it's the morally "right" thing to do?

My idea about private organizations still stands. I'm not advocating a Government intervention in Libya's humanitarian crisis- I'm just asking people to rethink their attitude on which situation demands more attention.

As much as we'd love to, we can't be in two places at once. It's an admirable, if naive, belief that I wish we could go with. But this is the world, and it's pretty unfair to begin with.

I can understand, and agree to some extent- but maybe there is a solution to this.

As we can all see, Japan's wellbeing is vital to the world's economy- but there is also a lot of death and destruction in Libya that demands looking at. It's a question of people over money, in a sense. The Governments of the world cannot provide humanitarian aid of Libya, as Gadaffi may see it as an(other) act of intervention that may make him (even more) hostile. Private, unaffiliated organizations can help, though.

As I said, I'm not looking for a policy change, I'm talking about a societal change in the perception of the importance of the scenarios. Each has their own warrant for action- each has a channel best suited to committing said action.

What if the Governments of the West were to focus on ensuring Japan's economic wellbeing and the reconstruction efforts are all fine, while the people of the West focus on donating, and dealing with the situation in Libya? Best of both worlds, in a sense.

Sorry for turning this into a speculation post, by the way. :P

CosmicCommander:
Snip

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree or whatever. I can't even pretend that I know anything about global politics/economics, so I really don't know what would be the "optimal" solution to either situation.

Some people - gamers and aniome fans - feel a stronger connection and empathy for japan. We've enjoyed their games, their anime, their culture, and liked the things they like, and that makes them 'closer' to us, we care more, and we feel more of an urge to help those we care about, or feel a strong empathy for. Its human nature. If we have £25 to donate, and the choice is spend £5 on five causes that are worthwhile, or £25 on one cause that is worthwhile AND has a personal connection for us, we'll very likely pick the personal donation.

What I find uncomfortable is how some people have been using these outpourings to make attacks on anime and game fans, some going so far as to say us gamers and anime fans do not care about the victims, and that all we care about getting our dose of vidya gaems and animu, and we're silly horrible weeabooo losers (artists on deviantart providing anime style support/comfort art have come in for a LOT of bashing from these people), and 'if your doing it (donating) for the wrong reasons, you shouldn't do it at all.'

Wow, thanks. Japan will appreciate it. Ishihara won't, but he's crazy.

Awesome! I love solidarity! : )

Aku_San:
As much as I appreciate what they are doing...

Where was all this support when the Tsunami hit South Asia in 2004? How about recently with the Earthquake in Hati? Why are we picking and choosing which countries to give the most aid to? Just because a lot of cool stuff comes from Japan? I don't understand it at all.

In this case its probably because Japan have contributed massive amount to the gaming industry, probably more than any other country. But I do agree with you, I saw some pictures of Haiti the other day and the rubble still hasn't cleared. In japan they have already rebuilt the majority of the roads...

Again, no mention of Bungie's numourus efforts...

 

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