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“S4KuR4” is pronounced as "Sakura" but you might call him "Saku". Saku is passionate about video games and especially about League of Legends. He strives for the spreading of eSports in the world and is constantly looking for ways to improve it. He also started learning Korean in order to ask a player for an autograph and is now translating articles about Korean LoL eSDports scene. He loves Poro! 

Saku:

I have always been passionate about video games and have always played a lot of different video games on different platforms but have barely ever heard of any video game company’s Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).

First of all, what is CSR?

“CSR is defined by the European Commission as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society". The Commission encourages that enterprises "should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders". 

CSR and video gaming?

Here, I’d like to talk about how gaming companies and players communities can help contributing to the empowerment of people, disaster relief, sustainability and environmental protection etc.

But what do all this have to do with video games? Well nothing and everything at the same time. Indeed, a lot of people play video games and a lot of video gaming companies are in constant communication with their players. For example, let’s take Riot Games, creator of the MOBA League of Legends. They have 27 million people connected and playing their games daily which means that Riot can communicate with those players every day.

League of Legends

Well what if Riot Games started to create skins in order to help relieving any disaster in the world? It would give $162,000 raised from the LoL gaming community in six days and donated to the victims of the tsunami in Japan, in 2011.  Yes, Riot Games already did it and it worked! But what if a video game company had this kind of program all year round for different kind of help? Let’s imagine it!

A gaming company consumes a lot of electricity to be able to work on their computer with the heater/air-co and lights. So let’s say, for example, that Riot decides to equip all their offices around the world with solar power because they want to reduce their electricity bill while caring about the environment, they could repeat what they did with Nurse Akali and create a special Lux skin that would allow Riot to invest in solar power equipment.

Riot

Moreover, once they have done that, they could start investing in solar projects in China in order for China to consume more renewable energies. This investment will not only give money back to Riot, it will also show  that Riot is a company that cares about sustainable development. And this money could either contribute to another cause, or be invested in their eSports events, like making them cheaper to attend!

We can replicate this model for almost any other matter that a video game company would like to show its interest in. Of course, I know that it is not that simple to elaborate and put into practice, but remember that this is just a rough example.

The questions now are: would this spur players to make in-game purchases? Will this teach people about sustainable environment? Will this give the company a better position and a competitive advantage? Are video game companies able to position themselves on this kind of key factor for success? If so, will they? What will it take to integrate CSR into their business models? And finally, will this really be profitable to a point that the money earned from it could make a huge impact? I would like to hear your opinion!

 

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