Itch.io’s Games For Gaza Bundle Surpasses US$230K Fundraiser Milestone In 5 Days

Games For Gaza, an itch.io fundraiser for Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP), has raised more than US$230,000 five days into its launch. Organised by Esther Wallace of Oak Grove Games, the bundle includes a generous 256 games, physical games, assets, soundtracks, and books from 140 designers for US$10. The initiative is due to run till 9 November, with all proceeds going to the UK-based charity.

itch.io Games for Gaza Bundle

This effort from Wallace and her collaborators comes after a colossal escalation in Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip. On 7 October, Hamas, the militant group controlling the Gaza Strip, executed a surprise raid across the border and killed over 1,400 people. Israel’s government, in retaliation, declared war, launching extensive airstrikes and a ground invasion that have killed over 8,000 Palestinians and counting, including thousands of children and civilians.

Many of its actions, such as the intentional targeting of journalists and hospitals — among others — are considered war crimes under the Geneva Convention; the UN have called for an immediate ceasefire in the wake of the destruction. Alongside a blockade that has prevented Gazans from receiving essential aid, Israel also cut off the country’s access to electricity and communications, spurring MAP into action by providing much needed supplies to individuals displaced or injured by the bombardment.

“MAP’s vision is a future where all Palestinians can access an effective, sustainable and locally-led system of healthcare, and the full realisation of their rights to health and dignity,” reads the organisation’s website.

“Through our programmes in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Lebanon, we work with trusted and experienced local partners to achieve this vision. Our programmes, designed and delivered by Palestinians, provide access to essential health services and build local knowledge and skills to address Palestinian health problems. In times of humanitarian emergency, we are ready to respond rapidly with aid and assistance.”

In a show of solidarity, several developers and publishers have announced donations to Palestinian aid charities, including Devolver Digital and Among Us creators InnerSloth. Itch.io is no stranger to fundraising bundles, either — it sold a US$5 bundle for racial justice in 2020, and recently, a US$60 bundle comprising 300 games, visual novels, and art packs, the proceeds of which went to the LGBTQIA+ creators of said content.

As with most bundles on the platform, the Games for Gaza pack is full of niche titles, but some standouts include Arcade Spirits, squirrel surveillance game NUTS, and Necrosoft Games’ Hyper Gunsport. There are also over 200 physical and tabletop games, journaling games, interactive novels, and more.

The Games for Gaza bundle is available on itch.io till 9 November.