Riot Games Partners With Crisis Line, Announces Racial Justice Efforts

Riot Games is donating $1 million to the ACLU and the Innocence Project, as well as launching a $50,000 scholarship for black students interested in video game development.

Written by Gordon Gottsegen
Published on Jun. 09, 2020
Riot Games Partners With Crisis Line, Announces Racial Justice Efforts
Riot Games
Image: Riot Games

When Riot Games asked its players about their most important social value, the majority of them chose “good health and mental wellbeing.” So the company’s latest partnership is meant to address just that.

On Monday, Riot Games announced its partnership with Crisis Text Line, which will provide players based in the United States and Canada with free access to a mental-health support line. By texting RIOT to 741741, players will get 24/7 access to trained counselors who can help with issues like bullying, depression, thoughts of self-harm, grief and more.

While video games can have therapeutic effects for some people, studies show that they can also attract people who struggle with issues like social isolation, low self-esteem and more. By integrating access to the Crisis Text Line, Riot Games can help provide resources to people who need them.

Riot Games was founded in 2006 and is best known as the company behind League of Legends, which has been played by hundreds of millions of people.

In addition to the Crisis Text Line partnership, the company also recently announced several initiatives to promote racial justice in response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement spreading across the nation.

In a note to employees, Riot Games President Dylan Jadeja announced on Friday that the company would invest $10 million in gaming startups led by underrepresented founders, donate $1 million to organizations including the Innocence Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, and launch a $50,000 scholarship for black students interested in video game development.

“The issues we are facing right now are not new ones, but this moment has sadly reminded us that the disease that is racism lives on in this country,” Jadeja wrote. “It has challenged us to look inward and ask ourselves, ‘Are we doing enough to create the change that we need?’ And the reality is, we know we can and must do more.”

The video game industry is notorious for its lack of diversity, so it’s important for video game companies to take steps to solve this problem.

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