Comic Relief launches metaverse fundraiser to fight poverty

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. relief / rɪˈlif / (n.) – food, money, or medicine given to victims of war, flood, earthquake, etc.

    Many countries have already sent relief to typhoon victims.

  2. empower / ɛmˈpaʊ ər / (v.) – to encourage someone by giving them the power to do something

    Playing sports empower the youth to be more determined in reaching their goals.

  3. mindset / ˈmaɪndˌsɛt / (n.) – a person’s way of thinking or attitude toward something

    It’s good to have a positive mindset when starting a new business.

  4. sensation / sɛnˈseɪ ʃən / (n.) – someone or something popular that causes excitement

    The musician has become an international singing sensation after being invited to a popular TV show.

  5. twist / twɪst / (n.) – a new thing created by doing something differently

    Adding wine gave a new twist to the dish.


Read the text below.

Can playing more Roblox make your kids more philanthropic?

That’s what the nonprofit Comic Relief US hopes, announcing its new Kids Relief initiative to encourage giving and community building with a new virtual world on the social gaming platform. The “Kids Relief Presents: Solarpunk Simulator” experience on Roblox will also serve as a fundraiser for Comic Relief’s real-life programs battling poverty in America, especially those empowering young people in that fight.

Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US, told The Associated Press that the Roblox virtual world and the entire Kids Relief initiative are designed to “support young people’s ability to drive change.”

“Children and young people have a deeper understanding that they have the power to make change,” said Moore. “They have the power to gather together and link their arms to do something to change the world tomorrow. They’ve got the mindset that adults don’t have — that they can do it.”

Comic Relief US is behind high-profile fundraisers like Red Nose Day, which uses entertainment and celebrities to help generate donations. “Solarpunk Simulator,” which takes place in a “future world where nature, technology, and people live in harmony” will be no different, with Jack Black appearing as the spaceship captain and Roblox influencers acting as team leaders in the virtual world to get participants to work together toward a common goal.

The launch goal was a special virtual concert by social media sensation BoyWithUke on April 7, but there may be different goals in the future.

Zach Letter, co-founder and CEO of Wonder Works Studio, which built the experience for Kids Relief, said the idea for the launch is a metaverse twist on the classic grade school fundraiser “Penny Wars,” where classes compete to see who brings in the most pennies in a week. Instead of pennies, the teams on Roblox are collecting parts of a spaceship together. And instead of a pizza party or extra recess, the winners get to enjoy the concert.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What are the advantages of letting kids participate in fundraising activities? Discuss.
  • Do you think kids who participate in the Comic Relief fundraiser will have a deep understanding of the cause even if they’re playing games? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think it’s important to make fundraising activities fun and engaging? Discuss.
  • What kind of charitable activities would be fun for adults (ex. yard sale, animal rescue)? Discuss.