World of Warships’ Operation Lifeboat Raises Critical Funds to Assist in’s Mission to Support Service Members

Camaraderie. Commitment. Challenge.

Those three elements define the two things in life that Rob Ferguson is passionate about – his current active service in the U.S. Army, and his lifelong status as a gamer.

“Literally everybody plays video games in the military,” said Ferguson, who is in his eighth year of service. “It’s a way for us to all vent. And it’s a way for all of us to come together.”

Military service requires the kind of commitment and dedication rarely seen in civilian institutions. And many service members feel those outside of the military community don’t know what it’s like. That gap in understanding can sometimes be isolating for service members, Ferguson said.

Enter Stack Up, a nonprofit organization that helps service members get through deployments and recover from traumatic injuries through the power of video games.

“Stack Up is, in my mind, filling that gap,” he said in the video profile above. “Because at the end of the day, it really comes down to camaraderie. And in order to build that, there has to be a reason to come together. There has to be a challenge.”

For Ferguson and millions of other service members, online video games provide that challenge, albeit in a virtual environment.

“The community that Stack Up is making and creating – and the people that are already in it – they get it,” Ferguson said. “Even if it’s just a game, it’s still important to all of us. It’s something that we share.”

Ferguson is the third of four service members to be featured in Military Times as part of a series that runs alongside a fundraising campaign by Wargaming, the developer of World of Warships and other online games, and Stack Up. You can view videos of other services members, Chad Fischer and Jeff Stephens, who were profiled earlier in the campaign.

The campaign seeks to raise $100,000 from the sale of two limited-edition in-game bundles called Life Line and Life Ring, which include special missions, exclusive items, and permanent power-ups within the World of Warships PC game. The entire proceeds of each $12 Life Line bundle and $30 Life Ring bundle go to Stack Up’s Overwatch Program, one of the programs by which Stack Up supports service members and civilians through counseling. The bundle will remain on sale through April.