I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to reading books that use data and longitudinal analysis to illustrate major trends on the improving state of the world. Wow! I’m glad that’s off my chest...
It can be easy to get caught up in negative headlines, frustrating conversations, or tilting patch notes, but the data is clear; the world is getting better for almost everyone. If you had to choose to be born at any point in time, and couldn’t choose your parents or where you were raised, today is the best day in human history to be born.
The Karma Initiative—the internal name for our social impact team—tends to fly under the radar. After all, we as a company are primarily focused on creating amazing games and exciting experiences for players. But every so often, I like to reflect on what we’ve done, why we did it, and the results we’ve seen. As we strive to create a world where gaming is seen as a meaningful life pursuit, we have a responsibility to leave a positive impact to those within it.
So here’s a quick rundown on what the community accomplished in 2018:
- On our first Global Service Day, over 240 Rioters from eight countries volunteered over 1,100 hours of community service.
- We continued our support of Girls Who Code, who provided computer science clubs to over 4,000 girls in LA, across the West Coast, Hawaii, and Guam.
- 2018 was our fourth year of disaster relief forward funding with International Medical Corps, which provides global disaster relief everywhere from Japan, to North Carolina, to the Middle East.
- Rioters in our Korean office received the first Presidential Citation awarded to a non-Korean company for their longstanding efforts to protect and support Korean cultural artifacts around the world.
- In partnership with Active Minds, we increased our support of mental health awareness and education in college campuses, reaching an estimated 12,000 more people.
- League of Legends players and Rioters participated in the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia for the past 3 years and partnered with the Trevor Project and It Gets Better Project this year.
- Over 500,000 students in over 15 countries are now involved in our global portfolio of education grants and initiatives that teach computing, communication, and teamwork skills.
- Players raised over $6.1 million for over 20 charities globally during the Dark Star Cho’Gath fundraising campaign.
Without the support of Rioters and players worldwide none of these would have been possible. Thank you so much for a great year and I look forward to what you can do in 2019!
Jeffrey "Kushnood" Burrell
Jeffrey Burrell is the Head of Social Impact and Executive Director of the Riot Games Social Impact Fund. He oversees all social impact and sustainability efforts which include in-game fundraisers across Riot’s five titles, the disbursement of funds and grants given out globally by the Social Impact Fund, internal employee fundraising and volunteer efforts. Jeffrey received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.