Play Games, Change the World, With PhilanthroPlay


Gamers – and “nerds” in general – can be extremely generous. I’ve said this more than once and I maintain it’s true. We love opportunities to pursue our passions, and we’re even more excited when the pursuit of those passions enables a change for the greater good. For this reason, I’m sure that many will be as interested as I am to learn of the existence of PhilanthroPlay.

Founder, Paul Moffatt, began laying the groundwork for PhilanthroPlay in 2014, while he was volunteering in Latin-America. He encountered a number of charitable organizations working to make a difference there, but the one that really caught his attention was the Centro de Atencion Integral, a special needs school and therapy center. The people there were committed to their cause, but lacked sufficient funding to provide therapy and education to anyone who couldn’t afford it. Upon returning to his native Australia, Paul decided to put his love of games and social media to work to help these people.

“We want our customers to love our products, but also love what [acquiring these products] has produced in another area of the world,” says Moffatt. More specifically, the company is looking to “make a tangible difference to the provision of special needs education in Latin America” by turning social media into “a force of benevolence, in which total strangers are able to reach out across borders to help them with a tap of their finger.”


PhilanthroPlay officially launched this year with the debut of their first app, Piñata Mirage, which is available for iOS devices, and soon for Android as well. The cartoon antics of Chicho Chihuahua will keep the player entertained, as the titular piñatas are actually optical illusions brought on by the hot sun. The player is challenged through the use of “memory, stereogram and negative afterimage” – they must swing their stick at the spot where the piñata actually is, rather than where it appears to be. The game also comes with a fun bonus – a GIF generator, which allows players to send GIF messages to their friends. If the player gets stuck on a particular level, sending four such messages will unlock the next stage for them.


Piñata Mirage can be purchased for just $0.99 USD from the App Store, and the developers expect it to be in the Google Play Store soon. Proceeds will be used to help fund education and therapy for special needs in Latin America. Watch for that announcement, and for other projects from PhilanthroPlay, on their website.

Laura, to borrow a phrase from Metal Gear Solid 3, has one good eye and can still fire a gun. She refers to herself as a "video dame," and has been an avid gamer on various platforms since she first picked up a Pong controller over 30 years ago. She takes great delight in explaining different games to her husband.