Cause Marketing Gamification Targeted to Casual Online Game-Players

In another case of cause marketing mashed up with games, GoodGames offers a fraction of a cent to charity every time you play a game like Mahjongg Dimensions or Pyramid Solitaire on their website. Play three games and the cause of your choice…from a list of nearly 110,000 registered charities…gets one penny.

These aren't hard-core games, just versions of familiar favorites for casual online game-players.

The games come from Arkadium and the donation comes from advertising revenue on the site. Each game played generates about a penny in advertising revenue, which is split between your charity, Arkadium and GoodGames.

In the past we’ve talked about gamified cause marketing, which can take several approaches.

GoodGames is from the same company that brought us GoodSearch, GoodShop, and GoodDining, which together have generated a little bit less than $10 million for affiliated causes. The GoodSearch search engine generates a penny for your cause when use it. GoodSearch’s search results are generated by Yahoo.

Fractions of pennies doesn’t sound like much, but they add up when you consider the size of the numerator. Scott Garell, CEO of Goodsearch, told Forbes that online gaming is “a huge market — 113 million Americans play casual online games to the tune of 50 million hours a DAY according to research firm NewZoo. Our model gives back to one’s favorite cause as they play online games. In fact, if all of these hours switched to, we’d donate about a $1 billion a year to America’s nonprofits and schools.”

In other words, GoodGames isn’t just a play on the games market it’s a play on the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

But isn’t online gaming likely to decline with the increase of tablets and other mobile devices running apps? “The initial product is optimized for online games at the moment,” Garell told Forbes. “We have plans in place for HTML 5 games in the future that will be optimal for smartphone and tablet gameplay.”

In short, GoodGames has positioned itself to harvest donations for causes no matter which way casual gaming goes. 

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