It’s an exciting time to be Seven Siegel. Siegel is the executive director of Global Game Jam, the world’s largest 48-hour gaming hackathon, but more important, they’re a former game developer with an MBA in nonprofit management. This makes Siegel particularly suited to work in an emerging niche market blending philanthropy with cutting-edge technology: video game charities.
There are dozens of charities in the video-game industry, including heavy hitters like the Gamers Outreach Foundation, which puts gaming equipment in children’s hospitals around the nation; AbleGamers, which helps people with disabilities play their favorite titles; and Take This, which advocates for mental-health awareness in the gaming industry. And there are more community-led nonprofits popping up all the time.
“We’re seeing it on the individual level with Desert Bus for Hope, with the Mario marathon, with Awesome Games Done Quick,” Siegel says. “These are all charity events that aren’t big industry things. These are all people getting together with their love of games and making some good happen.”