Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Industry On Hold For a Cause

As many know (or for those that have been living under a rock), Japan was hit by a massive earthquake at the end of last week.  When I say massive, I mean 9.0 on the Richter Scale; so massive is actually a shortsell.

This earthquake has cost an estimate 200 billion dollars in damage so far, and the earthquake was so large that, despite the best engineering possible, four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant have been damaged.  Regardless of the merits/dangers of atomic power, this is quite serious.

This has caused serious power issues.  There were shortages on Monday so far that I know of, so assume that there will be more throughout the week.

However, a silicon knight (not a Silicon Knights employee) in neutrally charged armour has come forth:  the Japanese games industry.  In an effort to speed up the restoration of the country, they have stepped up offering money and support.  They have slowed or outright stopped development schedules to help.  I don't know if we would see something this beautiful on our side of the ocean...I mean, do you think Activision or EA would step up, despite their livelihood might be at stake?  That's an open-ended question, by the way.  Not an accusation.

To be honest, I find this inspiring.  This is very selfless, and I don't know if we've ever seen anything like this over here.  While I do realise that video games are actually a big part of Japanese popular culture, this really is an unprecedented event.  To be honest, I'm trying to figure out how I can help from thousands of miles away.  And I'm not one for charity.


Dawson (Clawson) said...

I think the most beneficial action one could take is to simply spread the word about Japan. Sending money might be a pointless act, considering there isn't a guarantee where the money goes. The Red Cross has had some funny money issues where your contributions go to administration before aid, as well. Lastly, Japan is allied with so many countries due to it's status in Global trade, I'm sure our govt's will assist in every way possible. Fixing Japan is necessary for a healthy Global economy.

That being said, the video games industry was born in Japan so it's touching to see everything that they are doing to help.

I have seen this kind of charity from companies here, though. Abita brewed a special beer with the Save Our Shores message on the bottle. .75 of every beer is donated to the cleanup efforts in Louisiana in response to the BP disaster. It would be nice for EA to donate a portion of its game sales to assist Japan. Honestly, I think all game manufacturers should be. They all owe a debt to the Japanese. I mean, wouldn't you help Mario if his town was struck by a tsunami and Luigi was washed away? You'd be there in a heartbeat.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I would love to help, but as stated above, just sending money out blindly is no guarantee it'll go to the victims. People seem to love to take advantage of this time to set up a fake 'relief' fund and then just keep it for themselves.

Player_1 said...

You guys both make valid points regarding relief and awareness.

And I have sort of good news. Apparently only three (not four) reactors at Fukushima have been damaged and radiation is quite low.

I think if I had a game development company, I would probbaly help Japan because that's where Nintendo and SONY are based, which may or may not be potential business partners. Again, EA and Activision SHOULD be chipping in, it's not like they develop for SONY and Nintendo for shits and giggles or because EA and Activision are calling the shots (despite what they may think).

Microsoft's chipping in. Where are Activision and EA?