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Two Brothers Pledged $20k To Shenmue III To Raise Awareness For A Small School In China

by Alissa McAloon on Jul 06, 2015 at 12:20 PM

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What’s the best way to draw attention to a small school in rural China? According to two brothers working with the non-profit VET Program, donating $20,000 to the Shenmue III Kickstarter should hopefully do the trick.

The $20,000 pledge is spread across two $10,000 tier pledges. According to the Kickstarter page, the first $10,000 pledge will allow the brothers to sit down with Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki and for their names to be included as a Special Sponsor in the credits of the game. Rather than have their own names featured, the pair hope to have the logo and website for their school included instead.

The second $10,000 pledge enables backers to be included in Shenmue III as a NPC. The brothers plan to ask Suzuki to instead have one of the school's teachers included as a non-violent NPC in the game. 

But why not donate the money to the school itself? “We could have given $20,000 directly to building the school and its programs,” said the brothers on ShenmueDojo, “But we feel that this pledge will lead to more exposure and support than what we could do through other mediums.”

The two brothers work with schools in China’s Guangxi Providence via the VET, or Volunteer English Teacher, Program. By teaching English to children and young adults, the program aims to provide villagers with new educational and career opportunities. One of the brothers says he was inspired by Shenmue to work with schools in the city of Guilin, and for that reason has decided to both help the school and the Kickstarter with his pledge.

In a post on the school’s Facebook page, the brothers clarified that every cent of the $20,000 pledged to Shenmue III came directly from their personal funds and not from donations to the VET Program. Money donated to the school itself is used for rent, books, and other expenses. 

[Source: ShenmueDojo via Eurogamer]