Greg Beato Asks, Are Slacker Gamers the New Philanthropists?
In the old days, you couldn't combat global hunger just by buying an imaginary vegetable. Back then, if you wanted to make a trivial but virtuous gesture of pop-culture consumerism you had to make a trip to Tower Records and purchase a copy of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" or "We Are the World." Casual philanthropy required at least some effort. Today, it's a different story, writes Greg Beato. Log in to FarmVille, shell out $5 for some cartoon corn seeds that you can plant in your virtual field, and a genuine 3D family in Haiti may get a chicken, goat, or micro-loan from one of several nonprofit organizations that are partnering with FarmVille developer Zynga.