When I heard that I could play a game and make a change in someone’s life, I was intrigued. Because who wouldn’t want to have fun and make a difference while at it. The game in question is Half the Sky movement which was adapted from the book Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The idea was to create games for the developing world that influence behavior change. The game can be accessed through Facebook and requires an internet connection, it is also available on the google play store.
In the game you start out in India as Radhika a mother of two whose daughter Aditi is sick and needs to be taken to hospital. When she tries to talk to her husband Bhanu about it, he complains that he does not have the money since they have spent all they have to treat Aditi. At the point you are given a choice, either to speak up and find a solution or remain silent. When Radhika speaks out she is able to get mangoes to sell at the market which enables her to get money for taxi to the hospital which is far away. When she reaches the hospital she realizes that she doesn’t have enough money for the Aditi’s treatment after she is diagnosed with pneumonia. At this point one is presented with an option of negotiating for the fee or simply paying up. Once you choose to negotiate Radhika offers to help out at the hospital to cover the fee. All in all the story is very engaging and it plays more like an interactive storybook.
The further you progress in the game, you are able to travel to other locations around the world and meet a larger cast of characters in Kenya, Afghanistan, Vietnam and United States. As you play the game and by completing the story objectives and increasing your total health, education, and economy meters, you rank up and earn different titles such as advocate, activist and leader.
Other than the social aspects of the Half the Sky, there is a fun matching mini-game. The mini-game involves linking a series of like objects such as mangoes, apples, books in a grid setting. The mini-game enables you to earn more goods to sell at the market.
As you play, the game allows you to send real donations to the sponsors of your choosing and encourages you to invite your Facebook friends into the mix to help out. All actions carried out in the game from completing quests, playing mini games and sending gifts increases your overall charity meter and hitting certain milestones will unlock additional free gifts.
Other games from Half the Sky movement include;
Worm Attack; This game is aimed at children 7 years and older, players are tasked with keeping a growing number of boys and girls healthy by defeating the worms inside their tummies. It seeks to build awareness to the dangers of intestinal worms and the simple de-worming solution that has incredible impact in health and education.
9 minutes; in this game women and girls play out the adventure of pregnancy in a game that rewards them for keeping both mother to be and the baby inside her healthy. Players learn the principles of managing a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Family values; It is a fun interactive soap opera with dramatic elements, combines simple action with narrative choices. The interaction enhances the perception of girls’ value to families with an emphasis on extending girls education as opposed to child labour or early marriage.
Check out the trailer for the game and click here to play.