1995 saw the release of War Child’s famous HELP album; a revolutionary project where some of the most high profile British musicians came together to record an album for children in war torn Bosnia. 20 years on, I find myself working at War Child working on a project which aims to follow in the footsteps of that famous record – but with a twist.
War Child’s new project, HELP: The Game, mirrors the collaborative efforts of the 1995 record, which asked artists including Paul Weller, the Stone Roses and Blur to record a song in a day to be released on a live album.
This time round however we’re working with some of the most talented gaming studios in the world who will take part in a unique game jam; each studio have been allowed a total of six days, the same time it took for the original album to reach number one in the charts, to bring their creation from concept to completion.
Funds raised will be used for War Child UK's ongoing activities to support conflict-affected children and their families. The result of all of this international collaboration will be brought together as HELP: The Game, a compilation of games which will be published by Sega on Steam as a digital download this summer.
As War Child UK’s gaming manager, it’s been a real honour to lead this project for our charity. But it’s important to note that the game is the creation of the War Child Gaming Committee, made up of the great and good from all over the gaming industry, including Sports Interactive, Gamer Network, YouTube, Sheridans and Bossa amongst others.
The bundle includes games from some of the world’s most innovative and exciting games studios, including Sports Interactive, Rovio, Team17, Hardlight, Creative Assembly, Bossa, Curve, Sumo Digital, Modern Dream, Spilt Milk Studios & Torn Banner.
And it’s really great that here at War Child we’re able to expand our involvement in gaming. The process began when Sports Interactive first got involved with us, contributing 10p from every game sold for War Child since 2007. Our other gaming partnerships include 11bit Studios with their charity DLC and now an additional $1 donation per sale of The Little Ones DLC as of June and Wargaming.net’s charity packages – which was then topped up by the studio in aid of world’s most vulnerable children.
When it launches later this year, HELP: The Game will take the collaboration between gaming and charities to a new level. For me, knowing how many more conflict-affected children will be supported as a result of the money raised for War Child, I cannot wait to see it get started.