Lady Gaga Donates $1.5M to Relief Effort in Japan

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March 28, 2011; Source: Zynga | The popular social game developer Zynga announced Monday that Lady Gaga has donated $1.5 million through the sales of her Japan Prayer Bracelets, to the company’s fundraising initiative with Save the Children as well as to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“I’m inspired that my little monsters banded together to help those affected by the terrible tragedy,” Lady Gaga said in a statement released by Zynga. Lady Gaga refers to her fans as little monsters. “What Zynga’s players have done for the cause is equally inspiring, and I’m thrilled to partner with them to raise money that will go to Save the Children and the American Red Cross.”

Zynga is the world's largest social game developer with more than 250 million monthly active users playing their games, according to a press release. Games like FarmVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, and others are available to play on some of the more popular global platforms, including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, the iPad and iPhone. Through, the company’s philanthropic arm, players have raised more than $10 million for social causes around the world, according to the website.

According to TechCrunch, Zynga donotes 100 percent of its fundraising efforts to the causes it backs.

Zynga says that its charitable wing is committed to transforming the world through virtual social goods. Is it possible that the future of giving is through gaming? And through mobilizing little monsters? Perhaps so. With over 180 million players a month, the combined activities of users in a virtual Zynga game can be quite real.—Aaron Lester