Wargaming, the developer of World of Warships, and Stack Up, a nonprofit supporting veterans through gaming, today announced a partnership to raise money and awareness for military veterans in need of mental health support.
Wargaming will introduce a special bundle within its highly popular World of Warships online game over a nine-week period, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the bundle to benefit Stack Up’s Overwatch Program (StOP). Started in 2016, StOP provides critical support to veterans through round-the-clock access to a team of trained and certified crisis-intervention volunteers via Discord. From the sale of the special, limited-edition in-game bundles, Wargaming is looking to raise $100,000 in donations to help fund Stack Up’s important work.
When it comes to mental health, access to crisis prevention programs is vital. To further support veterans and active-duty service members, later this year Wargaming will embed a link within World of Warships for gamers to connect directly to a trained Stack Up mental health support volunteer.
“We know a lot of our players are veterans, so this partnership seems natural for us,” said Artur Plociennik, Regional Publishing Director for World of Warships. “We are honored to have the opportunity to support Stack Up’s mission of bringing comfort and friendship to veterans in need.”
In a 2018 study published in Social Science and Medicine, many veterans reported that video games helped not only with managing moods and stress, but also with three areas related to other aspects of recovery: adaptive coping, feelings of competence, and opportunities for leadership and socializing. The study was conducted by researchers from the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"We are very excited and hope Wargaming's decision to put a link inside World of Warships directing veterans to get the help they need is the first in what could be an amazingly beneficial trend in the online gaming community,” said Stephen Machuga, founder of Stack Up. “This could start a new way of providing veterans the mental health support they need in a space where they feel comfortable -- in the comfort of their own homes playing video games."
A recent survey of the World of Warships community of players who are serving or have served in the military found that 74.4% play video games with other active or former service members.
Other survey findings include:
- A majority of players, 48.4%, considered social interaction within the game as an important part of the overall gaming experience.
- 72.4% of players said they usually interact with others in the game while playing.
- 66% play games on a daily basis, while 30% play at least several times a week.
- 54% use Discord as their online chat service while 26% use in-game chat.
The results reinforce the idea that active and retired service members play online games as a way to connect with their peers, and that being part of a support group such as Stack Up is important to them.
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