The devastating earthquake in Japan, and the resulting tsunami and nuclear power plant shutdowns, have dominated the headlines for the past week. Relief efforts are pouring in, but much more needs to be done. While we encourage any donation efforts, there are a number of ways for gamers to get involved. We've compiled the gamer-centric donation efforts below, but feel free to point us to any other relief avenues in the comments. If you want to donate directly to a charitable organization or encourage others to do so, call it out in the comments as well.
- Sony has announced that donations made through the PlayStation Network, in increments of $2, $5, $10, $25, or $50, will be rewarded with a free PSN theme. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross' Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.
- PopCap has announced a 48-hour sale, starting Saturday, March 19 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until midnight on Sunday. All iPod and iPod Touch games will be 99 cents, and all iPad games will be $1.99. All revenues generated during the period will go to the Red Cross.
- Direct2Drive has announced that it will donate $1 for each game sold through March 21. In addition, it will be hosting a 20% discount on first-person shooters this weekend, if you use the code SPECWAR5 at checkout.
- Paradox Interactive has announced it will match the Direct2Drive donations, giving an additional $1 for every Paradox game sold through D2D's benefit efforts.
- Bungie is selling a Quake Relief Wristband for $5 on its store, and all proceeds will go to the Red Cross. In addition, all proceeds from Bungie Store purchases through April 30 will go to disaster relief.
- Aksys Games has announced that all proceeds from its store through March 24 will go towards disaster relief.
- EVE Online is hosting a PLEX for Good: Japan event through March 31, allowing players to convert PLEX donations to actual currency to go to the Red Cross. Users can contract their donation to the "CCP PLEX for Good" character. It warns to make sure the character is located in the "C C P" corporation and that everything is spelled correctly to avoid scams.
- Square Enix is donating 100 million yen (roughly $1.2 million), as well as allowing users to donate through the Square Enix Crysta billing system. It is also selling an in-game charity item in Sengoku IXA.
- Capcom is also donating 100 million yen, as well as donating all proceeds from Street Fighter IV iOS through March 22 to relief activities. The game has been discounted to 99 cents as well.
- Sega is contributing proceeds of the iOS Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic 4, Sonic Spinball, and Football Manager to the Red Cross.
- Zynga will be donating proceeds from select FarmVille and CityVille items to Save the Children.
- Game Informer's Meagan Marie has put up an eBay auction, offering a Nintendo DS signed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo, Charles Martinet, Eiji Aonuma, and Martin Leung, with full proceeds going to the Red Cross. So far the auction has hit nearly $2,500, with three days left to go.
- MAGfest will be hosting a fundraising concert and auction this Sunday a 4 p.m. PST. All proceeds will go to relief efforts, and donations above $10 will get two albums.
[Image available as a poster from Signal Noise]