It's time for a little shameless advertising, but rest assured it's for a good cause. Play-Asia are currently donating proceeds from a select range of titles and accessories towards the Japan Disaster Relief appeal run by the Hong Kong Red Cross. This is a fantastic opportuinity to pick up some videogames and help those in need after the shocking events of last Friday. I would urge you to peruse the list found at the following address and see if you can not only pick up a bargain, but contribute towards what is an essential endeavour:
For those wondering, I picked up Dragon Age 2 and Homefront for less than half of the Australian recommended retail price, all the while donating eight dollars to charity. Sounds like a deal that is too ridiculously good to be true, so once again: please click on the link above and start shopping. The list of items included in the promotion is pretty strong, with critically-acclaimed, recent releases like Dead Space 2 and cuurent generation classics like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
While it would be a lot more effective to just donate money directly to the appeal, this a great way for those as selfish as myself to get involved. Please do your part and pick up a few games too.
The response of the gaming community at large has been oustanding. Capcom are chipping in all proceeds from the sale of Street Fighter IV for iPhone (as well as reducing the price). Sony and Nintendo chipped in 300 million yen a piece, while some smaller developers have also contributed substantial amounts of cash (source: Kotaku). IGN Australia is also running a fundraising effort, playing twenty-four Japanese games in twenty-four hours to raise money for tsunami relief.
Also of note, several high profile titles have been either delayed or cancelled out of respect for those affected by the tsunami. Motorstorm Apocalypse has been delayed in both New Zealand and Japan, while titles like Disaster Report 4 were cancelled altogether (source: Kotaku). While some will be angered by the news, I know that I for one can handle not playing a brutally-difficult racer with questionable physics for a few weeks.
Even if you can't contribute yourself, spread the word. We can all make this ridiculously-heavy load just a little bit lighter for the people of Japan. Even if you do it in as selfish a way as I did.