Breast Cancer Awareness Month has the gaming world playing in pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our gaming world has once again turned a rosy shade of pink. The yearly awareness event has many platforms, gaming, entertainment and sports related, lending their support to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in various ways throughout the month. Most eye-catching is the NFL’s bright pink uniforms and pink ribbons on the playing fields in October. What makes it so important?  

Breast cancer awareness is vital

Breast cancer is a particularly invasive form of the disease that can affect nearly all of our body parts. It is the second most common cancer found in women. The NBCF estimates that this year alone, almost 331,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US. That’s 1 in 8, or one woman every 2 minutes. Approximately, 43,600 will die from it in 2021. And women are not alone in this. Although much rarer, 1 in 1000 men are diagnosed each year. The mortality rate for men is much higher too, due to a lack of awareness and detection.  

Unfortunately, like so many forms of cancer, there are a lot of unanswered questions as to who will get it and why. Risk factors for women can include age, family genetics, reproductive health and physical markers, like dense breast tissue. For men, along with family history, exposure to radiation and hormone replacement therapy can increase their risk of breast cancer. Early detection is key, and often, can be lifesaving. “According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms,” states NBCF’s website.

Think pink!

It is quite possible that you, our readers, know someone who has battled breast cancer, or are going through it yourselves. We take this time to say we support you.

As I wrote on the outset, many companies around the world have found unique and fun ways to raise awareness, and funds, this month. And gamers have several opportunities to join in the fight!

Speaking of fight… Capcom announced the release of special pink suits for Chun-Li and Ryu in Street Fighter V, starting October 12. These limited-edition skins give the fighters a cherry blossom appearance that is certainly something to behold. Only on Steam and PlayStation 4, the costumes are available worldwide for a limited time, through November 12, 2021.  

All proceed from the costumes will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a minimum donation of $25.000 guaranteed. “Capcom is committed to serving as a responsible corporate citizen and will continue to conduct proactive CSR activities that include the use of its games to invigorate communities and contribute to society.,” the company said in their press release. 

Online gaming app Caeser’s Slots shut down entirely for a brief time just before the start of the month. Their goal was to encourage their players to get a mammogram. Their campaign slogan, “Don’t Trust Luck, Get Screened,” hopes to grab the attention of their players and motivate them to take action.  

Game Pink!

Of course, not to be left out, is the annual Game Pink Event through Twitch. Giving gamers the opportunity to set up their own fundraisers, NBCF has teamed up once again with Tiltify and Streamlabs Charity to raise money and awareness through gaming. “Rallying in Screening Everyone” is the goal this year, and with over $45.000 raise so far, they are doing a bang-up job! 

“Game Pink is bringing together gamers, streamers, developers, and publishers on a mission to help women and families impacted by breast cancer. Playing your favorite video game can make a difference in the lives of women and families facing the realities of breast cancer,” says Tiltify’s sign-up page. 

Individual streamers and teams can sign up to take part throughout the entire month of October. Milestone tiers grant gamers several rewards, including stickers and apparel. So, you can look amazing while being awesome!  

Check up for change

Even with all the fun, it’s important to remember that health issues don’t go away when awareness months are over. So, we encourage you to be vigilante, be bold and be pink, all year round! 

For more information on breast cancer, please check out the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and National Breast Cancer Foundation

Alicia Graves

A bit nerdy, a bit punk rock princess, and a whole lot of mom, I'm constantly in motion. I have an enthusiasm for gaming and the cultural complexities of entertainment, both past and present. I don’t believe in limiting myself to one kind of genre in books, comics, manga, anime, music or movies. I prefer to seek out hidden gems in panned pieces, uniqueness in the mundane and new outlooks on nuances.
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