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Game companies line up to aid Japan

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Zynga's helping give back

As recovery efforts continue in Japan after a devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and accompanying tsunami, the video game industry is rallying to aid in the relief.

Some publishers are reaching into their own pockets to donate, while others -- along with select members of the development community
-- are leveraging their customer base to raise money.

Here's a rundown of some of the more notable contributions and fundraising initiatives that have taken place - plus ways you can help out.

Publisher Donations:

NCSoft - Through its Japanese joint venture NCJapan, the company is donating 500 million yen ($6.2 million), which is roughly one month's revenue for NCSoft and marks the industry's largest donation to date.

Nintendo - Donated 300 million yen ($3.7 million) to help with the reconstruction of affected areas.

Sony - The company as a whole (not just its game division) donated 300 million yen ($3.7 million) to aid in relief efforts. Sony also offered 30,000 radios to victims so they can stay abreast of current events.

Sega - Donated 200 million yen ($2.5 million).

Namco Bandai - Gave 100 million yen ($1.2 million).

Square Enix - Pledged 100 million yen ($1.2 million)
as well as donations from employees to the Japanese Red Cross.

PopCap - All of the proceeds from a recently completed 48-hour sale of the company's iPhone and iPad titles will be given to the International Red Cross. The company says it raised over $200,000 in the fundraiser.

How gamers can help:

While publishers are generally donating cash, there are ways that the gaming community can help provide food, shelter and medicine to the victims of the devastation. The most direct, of course, is a cash donation to the Red Cross, but here are a few other game-centric options.

PlayStation Store - Beyond its corporate donation, Sony is letting U.S.
gamers make donations directly through the PlayStation Store. Players can contribute anywhere from $2 to $50 from their wallet in the "Aid Japan" area -- which will go
directly to the American Red Cross: Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.
Those who donate will receive a free theme for their PS3.

Bungie wristbands - The Halo developer will donate all proceeds from the sale of its Quake Relief Wristband to the American Red Cross to aid those who were impacted.
The blue bands cost $5 each.

Zynga's in-game donations - The social gaming giant is enabling in-game donations in FarmVille, FrontierVille and its other games. Players can buy select virtual goods with 100 percent of that purchase price going towards tsunami relief. The company is partnering with Save the Children for the drive and hopes to raise $2 million.

Play For Japan - Numerous game sites and companies have come together to auction off loads of collector's items, including a copy of Modern Warfare 2
signed by the entire development team and a copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 signed
by series creator Hideo Kojima.

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