Virtual Fun Helps Real People

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Rockaways were particularly hard hit by superstorm Sandy, but you can help them rebuild in a rather unusual way.

Tom Webster is a partner at the ad agency Mother New York.

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“Several people here were displaced and lost their houses and I was one of them,” he told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

The company put them up and many went to the Rockaways to volunteer.

“We could have just sent busloads of people out every weekend,” he said.

But Webster wanted to make use of what they do best.

“Coming up with creative ideas and implementing the ideas,” he said.

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What they came up with is Repair the Rockaways, a game that looks and feels like Farmville. Your donation gives you bricks to re-build homes.

LINK: Play The Game

“Generally you write the check or you do the credit card and that’s it, it’s gone,” he said.

But the characters you meet in the game are are real people the money will help. They speak to you in the game.

Webster said donors will get e-mail updates on what exactly they’ve done.

“So that you can actually see where your money has got to,” he said. “The idea is that we’re going to go back every month and film either these people or new people.
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