This past Friday (the 13th…OOOOOOOOO), to celebrate the release of Resident Evil 5, Capcom, Fortyseven Communications and the American Red Cross took over the World of Wonder gallery in Hollywood and infected people with Las Plagas. No, I’ve got that wrong. Sorry. They held a blood drive. I get the two confused sometimes.
Lack of parasitic infection, or not, the turnout was pretty amazing and unexpected. Over 100 people had signed up for appointments with a line of 30+ walk-ins waiting outside the poster blanketed gallery turned blood donation center. Originally, multiple blood drives were going to happen across the US on the 13th, but the effort could not be organized in time, which is unfortunate because it’s such a great cause.
Being an event for RE5, there was more than just blood donations going on. While waiting to donate, fans could watch a DVD of the website’s viral videos projected on a wall or play the game on any one of three kiosks setup with limited edition red Xbox 360s, which was cool to watch people play co-op with strangers and laugh or get excited when conquering a boss battle or an area involving team work. Copies of the game were being raffled off, roughly every hour, as well as the grand prize of a red Xbox 360 bundle which the winner was chosen at the end of the event and notified via phone. Donators also received stickers, buttons and posters (we’ll be giving some away on the site real soon) as a bit of a “thank you.”
Hanging out, eating cookies and talking with people, I found mostly everyone was involved because they like giving blood and Resident Evil was just an added bonus — it wasn’t all just about maybe winning a free game. It’s really awesome to hear something like this, be a part of it and write about it because far too often gamers are seen in a negative light for taking countless numbers of digital lives and here we are given the chance to help save real lives.
I think it’s safe to say the blood drive was a great success just from being there. A ton of thanks are in order to Teresa, Hiro and everyone else from Fortyseven Communications, Capcom, the American Red Cross and especially all the donators for helping to make a difference.