With low-cost handsets and increasing penetration of mobile phone networks globally, millions of people who don’t have regular access to computers or fixed-line telephones now use mobile devices as daily tools for communication and data transfer. Today, there are 3.5 billion mobile phone users in the world; more than 65 percent of them are in developing countries.
Half the Sky is a movement cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide. Under the leadership of Games for Change and supported by USAID, three mobile games are being created that are aimed at communities in India and East Africa.
9 Minutes: 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 and happy. Players will learn the principles of managing a healthy and successful pregnancy, compressing the nine-month process into a short and compelling game experience.
Worm Attack!: Aimed at children 7 and older, players are tasked with keeping a growing number of boys and girls healthy by defeating the worms inside their tummies. They will gain awareness of the dangers of intestinal worms and learn about the simple de-worming solution that has had an incredible impact on children’s health and education.
Family Values: A fun and interactive “soap opera” with dramatic elements, Family Values is based on the narrative choices of “Choose Your Own Adventure” games. The interaction will enhance the perception of a girl’s value to a family, with an emphasis on extending girls’ education, as opposed to child labor or early marriage.
The three mobile games will be distributed in India, Kenya and Tanzania starting in late 2012 in partnership with game developer Mudlark (U.K.) and game publisher E-Line Media (U.S.). The project leverages a vast network of local and global NGOs, mobile operators and government agencies in order to reach millions of low-end mobile devices in the developing world.
Games for Change is also working with Frima Studio to develop a cutting-edge adventure game on Facebook. The experience aims to engage millions of players and transform compelling gameplay into real-world actions and micro-donations, building the capacity of Half the Sky’s existing nongovernmental organization (NGO) network and partners.
Half the Sky brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to not only raise awareness of women’s issues, but to also provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women. You should check out these games for change!