Repository logo

“Okay, I respect this publicity stunt.” A snapshot of public perceptions of an online game‐based blood donation campaign

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log



Background: With a decrease in young and first‐time donors, applying gaming elements to blood donation may provide a novel means of encouraging young donors. In August 2023, the online game DiabloIV launched the Blood Harvest in which players were encouraged to donate blood products in the United States to receive virtual in‐game rewards. Given the novelty of this independent initiative, our aim was to capture Diablov IV players opinions of the Blood Harvest through thematically analyzing their online discourse related to this blood donation campaign. Study Design and Methods: We captured publicly available Twitter/X posts (n = 78) and engagement (n = 390) relevant to the Blood Harvest posted during and immediately after the campaign (October 13, 2023–November 27, 2023). Results: Using thematic analysis, we identified 5 themes relating to the Blood Harvest campaign: (1) Positive perceptions and community motivations to donate, (2) Negative perceptions of the initiative and online game, (3) Players' inability to donate and participate in the initiative, (4) Incentives and incentive comparisons, and (5) Benefiting from positive associations focusing on the reputational gain that may be accessed through promoting blood donation. Discussion: Situating a donation campaign in an established video game provides a novel opportunity to engage young donors. Through capturing public data, we provide a unique snapshot of how an online gaming community perceives and reacts to an independently initiated game‐integrated blood donation campaign. This highlights key strengths of the approach as well as identifying potential risks for blood collection agencies.


Publication status: Published

Funder: University of Queensland; doi:


Is Part Of


John Wiley & Sons, Inc.