People Make Games has posted this video about the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government. YouTube won’t let this video be embedded, but you can click on the link above or here to see it.
The collaborative commissioned a 2021 report, Hidden Pain, which provided some of the first concrete details on children orphaned by covid-19. To date, there are at least 10.5 million of these children worldwide, with studies showing that the burden has fallen heaviest on low income nations. One report in May 2022 revealed that an estimated 40.9% of covid-19 orphans are in South East Asia and 23.7% in Africa. Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the five countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.
In high income nations, it is ethnic minorities that have been hit hardest. The Hidden Pain report revealed that in the US, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander children were four times more likely to have been orphaned than their white counterparts, with Black and Hispanic children two and a half times more likely. The fate of these children will represent some of the most profound long term consequences of the pandemic.
As the world gives up on even the mildest measures of masking, testing, vaccinating, distancing, and tracking to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and killing the thousands of people still dying every week, I was shocked to see this (now surely well outdated) estimated number of children who were orphaned from a 2021 report. David Cox’s December 2022 article titled “What will happen to the orphans of COVID-19” is quoted above.
The original place I found Cox’ article was linked from this more recent article from Timothy Pratt for The Guardian about an estimated 245,000 children orphaned by COVID-19 deaths just in the US.
It is horrifying that much of the world has largely decided to abandon not only these children but to create more orphans, and encourage death and long-term health mayhem by abandoning all precautions and prevention. Let it rip is the policy and culture, and the effect is devastating.
There was a devastating series of earthquakes affecting Türkiye and Syria early in February and the Humble Bundle folks have a bundle of games and more up for the next few days that donates all of the proceeds to three relief groups. Highly recommended. Get it here.
Sergey Dvodnenko is a software developer living in a city in Ukraine that is under the control of occupying Russian forces. Dvodnenko is behind software cores for the MiSTer project with a focus on the Sega Saturn and he even recently released a core for Sega’s 32X during the occupation.
His most recent update to Twitter talked about the occupation:
Hi. I'm fine. But my town (and all neighboring ones) is under the occupation of Russian troops. The occupiers have closed the banks, cut off TV, and threaten the population. When people came to the protest, they opened fire in the air to disperse people.
— Sergey Dvodnenko (@srg320_) March 9, 2022
Dvodnenko was later able to post last week to the MiSTer FPGA forums with an update on his status:
Hi. I’m fine. The Russian occupiers have turned off our Internet and mobile communications. There is a slow Internet connection, but this one is not always available. Twitter and Facebook are blocked, so I’m writing here. I’m working on Saturn and other cores. Maybe not so fast, but I continue to work. Thank you all for support.
Sergey Dvodnenko has a Patreon page where people can support his work directly and get updates like the video above when he’s able to upload them with his progress.
The invasion of Ukraine has led to the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine & Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (that’s one person, Mykhailo Fedorov) requesting via Twitter that Microsoft’s Xbox division, and Sony’s PlayStation division, in addition to “all game development companies” and “esports platforms”, to temporarily block all games from accounts in Russia and Belarus and cancel esports events in Russia and Belarus:
There are a lot of strong and thoughtful arguments that sanctions are a bad idea, the rich are likely to be easily able to work around them so only the regular people may suffer. Without a democratically elected government how likely is it that further unrest in Russia will result in Vladimir Putin being deposed and this war ending? I don’t know, but I do want peace and it is good to sympathize with the Ukrainians and all victims of war. We will see if Sony, Microsoft, and the rest of the game industry join in on the wave of sanctions.
This isn’t the first request that the Ukrainian government has made via Twitter, they’ve also requested support from other countries, businesses and notably from the name-calling heir to a fortune from apartheid-era mining, Elon Musk. Who may have delivered some internet-providing Star Link satellite dishes but who knows if those worked or if the service can even be moved from one location to another which seems like it might be useful when you’re trying to avoid an invading military force.