Gaming for Good

What we learned by bringing the Red Cross to Fortnite


  • International Committee of the Red Cross


  • Seattle


How might gaming's limitless creative potential be used for good? What if the world's most popular shooter game could be used to educate people about the Red Cross's work in the real world? Could Fortnite players save lives instead of taking them (figuratively speaking)?


While video gaming is a massive economic force, the global revenue of which now eclipses the film industry, it's also seen by many as a pariah. Consider Fortnite, where players fight to the death, Hunger Games-style, to be the last one standing. If you aren't a gamer, what morals do you imagine Fortnite's massive audience are being taught? Just as the PMRC leveled invectives against certain rock and hip-hop music acts in the 1980s, it's easy for people today who don't play or understand video games to pass blanket judgment.


We partnered with the International Red Cross to bring the good they do around the world upholding the rules of war to hundreds of millions of soldier-playing gamers. We reimagined Fortnite’s last player standing shooter, so the rules are reversed: Instead of killing to win, in Liferun you save lives to win. We even based objectives on real-life Red Cross missions, like rescue civilians in conflict zones, defuse mines, deliver supplies to isolated communities, and rebuild vital infrastructure like schools. To make Liferun authentic to the community, we worked with professional gamers to actually build Liferun inside Fortnite, with the biggest gaming influencers promoting it and a worldwide gaming conference to launch it. We even brought fundraising into the game – through in-game purchases, players could make a real-life difference from a virtual battlefield.

ICRC Liferun Case Study 2020 0617

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