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Games for Gaza bundle raises $200,000 for Medical Aid For Palestinians

Game devs organise charity drive following outbreak of open war between Hamas and Israel

A collage of games and other products included with the Games for Gaza charity bundle launched in October 2023
Image credit: Itch/HTHRFLWRS

An game bundle launched to fund medical services and support for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and Lebanon has raised $200,000 in five days. Organised by Esther Wallace of Oak Grove Games, and due to run till 9th November 2023, the Games for Gaza bundle includes 256 videogames, physical games, assets, soundtracks and books from 140 designers for $10, with all proceeds going to the UK-based charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Wallace and her collaborators put together the bundle in response to a colossal escalation in long-standing hostilities this month between Israel and Hamas, the group in control of the Gaza Strip. On 7th October 2023, Hamas carried out a surprise raid across the border with Israel, killing over 1400 people, the majority of them civilians, while taking hundreds of hostages, in retaliation for Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and reported settler violence against Palestinians.

Israel's government have responded by declaring war and conducting a programme of air strikes that have killed over 8000 Palestinians, including thousands of children. Some have disputed the Gaza health ministry's reported casualty figures, but the United Nations among other international organisations have pronounced them trustworthy. The UN have called for an immediate ceasefire, as Israel moves ahead with plans for a ground offensive.

The bombardment has left hundreds of thousands of Gazans without access to food, water, shelter, electricity, medical supplies and internet. As reported by Game Developer, several developers and publishers have announced donations to Palestinian aid charities this month, including Devolver and Among Us creators InnerSloth. InnerSloth have also urged their community to ask their local governments to push for a ceasefire, and have created regional templates for petitions to make this easier.

The Games for Gaza bundle includes Noodlecake's eerie surveillance sim NUTS, the visual novels Arcade Spirits and A Nightmare’s Trip, diorama puzzler Vignettes, Necrosoft's cyberpunk volleyball game Hyper Gunsport and Extreme Meatpunks Forever from Heather Flowers.

"My one request for folks supporting this bundle, either monetarily or by boosting it, is that you also find other ways to act up for Palestine," Wallace wrote on Xitter last week. "Call your representatives and urge them to call for an end to the occupation. Learn about Palestine. Support Palestinian organizers."

Here's a little more about Medical Aid For Palestinians, from the organisation's About page. "MAP's vision is a future where all Palestinians can access an effective, sustainable and locally-led system of healthcare, and the full realisation of their rights to health and dignity.

"Through our programmes in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Lebanon, we work with trusted and experienced local partners to achieve this vision. Our programmes, designed and delivered by Palestinians, provide access to essential health services and build local knowledge and skills to address Palestinian health problems," the post continues. "In times of humanitarian emergency, we are ready to respond rapidly with aid and assistance.

"MAP is also committed to bearing witness to the injustices caused by occupation, displacement and conflict. We speak out in the UK and internationally, and ensure Palestinian voices are heard at the highest levels, to press for the political and social barriers to Palestinian health and dignity to be addressed."

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