On Tuesday, Comic Relief US announced an initiative to combat poverty on the popular gaming platform Roblox called “Kids Relief Presents: Solarpunk Simulator.”
It will feature a virtual concert on April 7 with platinum singer, songwriter and producer BoyWithUke, who has gained popularity on TikTok with his one-minute song series.
Comic Relief is a non-profit organization that has taken the lead in engaging younger generations by creating a standalone world on Roblox. The organization’s goal is to encourage charitable giving and community development by creating a virtual world on a social gaming platform.
The campaign that will run year-round aims to generate donations through multiple digital platforms, including live-stream fundraisers featuring content creators, branded in-experience activations and native transactions — allowing youths to support Kids Relief by participating in the experience.
The funds raised will support efforts and projects that promote youth empowerment, leadership, education and economic advancement to end the poverty cycle.
Empowering youths to ‘change the world’
Speaking to The Associated Press, Comic Relief US CEO Alison Moore said the initiative aims to boost the capability of young people to bring about change. Moore believes that young people could unite and work together “to do something to change the world tomorrow.”
“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.”
Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US
She revealed that the Kids Relief campaign is the first project funded by the Innovation and Growth Fund. It aims to raise $10 million over three years. The group anticipates that innovative ideas supported by the fund will create $1 billion in social impact to address intergenerational poverty.
Moore explained that the goal of the Kids Relief campaign is to re-engage audiences that have grown “fractured” and “more distracted with everything that’s going on in the world.” She added that the initiative should be able to serve three purposes at once — engage, delight and fundraise.
Solarpunk Simulator’s experience
The Solarpunk Simulator virtual world is set in a future realm where humans, technology and nature coexist in harmony, with Jack Black serving as the spaceship captain.
Roblox influencers will lead teams and motivate participants to collaborate and work towards achieving a shared goal in the virtual world.
Zach Letter, CEO and co-founder of Wonder Works Studio, the organization that created the Kids Relief experience, revealed that the initiative is a metaverse version of the well-known elementary school fundraiser called “Penny Wars.”
However, unlike Penny Wars, teams are tasked with gathering spaceship parts in this virtual world. The reward for the winning team is not pizza parties or extra playtime but rather a concert experience.
Letter explained that the game offers an abundance of visual and audio cues, making it an enjoyable experience that provides a sense of empowerment when gathering materials.
“It’s one of those games that has a lot of audio and visual feedback, so it’s really satisfying to play and you always feel this sense of power over collecting the materials.”
Zach Letter, co-founder and CEO of Wonder Works Studio
The CEO said various digital items bought from the Solarpunk Simulator store would aid the Kids Relief fundraiser. These items can either provide players with extra abilities in the virtual world or allow them to customize their avatars.
BoyWithUke, the musician who recently released his latest major-label EP “Antisocial” last month, voiced enthusiasm for participating in the initiative.
“As someone who grew up in poverty, I think this is a mission I can strongly stand behind,” the 20-year-old said.