simcityBuying virtual goods is something most online gamers are well used to, but there’s a nice example this week of using these things for a slightly more social good.  It comes with the announcement that Sim City makers Maxis are teaming up with the Red Cross to offer players a range of virtual content to use inside the game.

The content, which will be available for one year, will help Sims that have been injured by virtual disasters, whilst at least 80% of the money raised from buying the content will go towards supporting the work Red Cross do around the world.

The content includes a Red Cross Relief center, tents and two vehicles, and they appear when disasters strike in the game.

“Sims that would otherwise have been critically injured are instead offered aid at the Red Cross relief tents,” Maxis general manager Patrick Buechner said. “As the city recovers from the natural disaster, the Red Cross tents will disappear. Each disappearing tent will then release 10 healthy Sims back into the player’s affected city. Ambulances, fire trucks and police cars will continue to protect a player’s city alongside the Red Cross services.”

Players can purchase the Red Cross pack via the Sim City store for $9.99.

What do you think of the move?  Is it likely to bring new supporters to the Red Cross, or are there better ways of donating cash?