Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

Games for Change–Having an Impact Isn’t All Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Nicholas Kristof, NY Times über-journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and co-author of the outstanding and inspirational Half the Sky (like a burr under your saddle inspirational–you cannot sit still after reading it) book–with wife, co-author, and fellow Pulitzer winner, Sheryl WuDunn…are launching an online game to make a difference in the world.

Partnering with Games for Change, this couple is tackling gaming as a means of education and awareness. The yet-to-be-named game will be somewhat like Farmville, and played predominantly via facebook and other social media, and will raise awareness of global crises. The release, later this year to coordinate with the PBS broadcast of the filmed version of Half the Sky (did I mention you MUST read that book? Seriously), will bring a keen focus on women’s issues of injustice and oppression around the world. I follow Nick on facebook and both of them on Twitter–and their unwavering commitment to human rights is truly a model for us all (Nick is currently in Switzerland covering the World Economic Forum, and putting heavy pressure on sexual trafficking enablers here in the US—Hello Village Voice Backpage.com!—and abroad).

A description of the upcoming game says, “Players will be able to buy virtual goods in the game with real currency that will then go to NGOs and aid organizations around the world…Players will also be able to contribute to causes without paying money, for example by completing virtual missions that add them to advocacy campaigns or other efforts.”

While you’re waiting to change the world by playing games…go read that book!!! (and then tell me what you’re going to do about the inequities in this world. You’ll be seething with anger and energy that you can put to brilliant use toward a cause that matters to you–let me know what it is)

Gaming for Good

Tim Kring was the creator of the TV series Heroes, and after that show wrapped this year, he has moved on to being a hero off the screen. He has created an online alternative reality game where players join a Conspiracy for Good and join the world of a covert group battling evil influences. The players are you and I, working through challenges and gathering clues to succeed in play…and the kicker is that use of the platform and playing the game—something so many people are already inspired to do—brings a benefit in the real world as it is linked with improvements at the Chataika Basic School in Zambia.

Says Kring of the project: “I didn’t just want to talk about “saving the world” in fiction, I wanted to create a narrative that spilled out into the streets. One that you could live inside of for a while. How cool would it be, I thought, to create a story that exists all around you all of the time? — On your laptop, your mobile phone, on your sidewalks, as a secret message hidden in your favorite song or while standing at the bus stop on your way to work.

And, taking it further, what if your participation over a few weeks or months actually impacts the story’s development and creates positive change in the real world because a philanthropic mission is integrated into the narrative itself?

The Conspiracy For Good is the culmination of this dream. This is the pilot project for a first-of-its-kind, interactive story, that empowers its audience to take real-life action and create positive change in the world. Call it Social Benefit Storytelling.”

Think about joining in now, in the project’s infancy (even though scores of people around the world have been readying this new paradigm for its recent launch), and find a creative new way to be at cause for making it better out there.