Hello Kitty online players grind for good cause and raise $12,000 for charity.
Dong NgoSF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Sometimes the line between virtual world and real world is blurry. It's been known that Chinese gold farmers make a real living out of the WoW gold. On Friday, Sanrio Digital, maker of the Hello Kitty Online game, for the first time turned the in-game food to real money for a good cause.
The company announced the conclusion of the first Hello Kitty Online charity event called "Food for Friends." The event was held in the final week of the Hello Kitty Online closed beta.
Players created and submitted 344,965 in-game food items. Based on the number and value of items submitted, Hello Kitty Online will donate $12,000 to Unicef and the Asian Youth Orchestra.
The Hello Kitty character turned 34 years old on November 1, and the "Food for Friends" event kicked off immediately following the in-game birthday party.
The present version of the game will shut down at midnight EST on Saturday to allow the development team to continue work on the game and prepare for open beta.
Current players will retain their characters and certain benefits in future versions of the game. It's unclear when the open beta will be announced.