Local video game community comes together to sell games for Hurricane Ida relief | The Latest | Gambit Weekly

New Orleans and Baton Rouge video game developers are teaming up to sell a bundle of games to raise money for Hurricane Ida relief efforts.

The “Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Ida Relief Bundle” — which launches Friday — will contain more than 15 games by local creators. Nick Laborde, founder of video game company Raconteur Games, said the bundle will cost around $15 to $20, and people can choose to make an additional donation to the efforts.

All profits will go toward organizations in Southeast Louisiana on the ground helping people in Ida’s aftermath.

“This is something very commonly done in the video game industry,” Laborde said. “What creators will sometimes do is people who create their games or people who publish games will band together, create a big bundle for a charitable purpose, and then all the profits and proceeds go towards charitable organizations, nonprofits, etc.”

Laborde — who may be more familiar to those in New Orleans as the son of the “Crawfish Bread Man” John Ed Laborde — has been spearheading the relief effort among the Baton Rouge gaming community in conjunction with nonprofit New Orleans Game Developers.

Laborde said the group plans to donate to the Cajun Navy, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Baton Rouge Food Bank, Imagine Water works and the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LASPCA). He said how much money they plan to distribute to each organization depends on how much money they end up raising.

Already, Laborde said Swedish video game publisher Raw Fury is planning to donate $10,000 to the relief efforts. He said he was in the process of pitching a game to the company and had mentioned the storm to them Sunday.

“Sunday, I offhandedly mentioned it in the email,” he said, ‘and then by the time I got cell service back on Monday, they had already committed to donating $10,000. So that’s pretty magical.”

Raw Fury also previously announced it would publish NORCO, which it describes on its website as “a sci-fi Southern Gothic Adventure that immerses the player in the sinking suburbs and verdant industrial swamps of Louisiana’s petrochemical hinterlands.”

Additionally, another partner has donated $500 to the LASPCA, and six video game publishing groups have committed donations, according to Laborde.

“Before we lined up that much, the person who donated $500 to the SPCA, in my head, I’m like, ‘If we raise like $400 or $500 bucks, that’s a wild success to me,’ Laborde said. “So to start out of the gate with effectively generating $10,500 in targeted relief to People who are on the ground helping people, this has already been a success.”

Laborde said everyone who has been working this week to organize the effort is currently displaced by the hurricane themselves and “working from battery banks, hotel rooms and the generosity of friends and family.”

“I’m just super humbled that everyone who has come together for this is just knocking this out of the park,” he said.

The game bundle can be purchased online at independent video game store itch.io starting Friday. An itch.io account is not required to donate and receive access to the games.

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