New Facebook Game: Half the Sky

Half the Sky is a Movement striving to “ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide…”. Among the many ways it uses to raise awareness of women’s issues the Movement is about to launch a Facebook game called Half the Sky Movement Game. http://www.facebook.com/HalfTheSkyMovementGame (Requires a Facebook account)

Three hundred million people across both genders and all age groups play online social games each month. Facebook game such as Farmville are amongs the most popular, widely played games in history. Half the Sky Facebook game begins with players arriving in a small village in India where they meet a young Indian woman named Radhika. She then takes players on a global journey, from India to Kenya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the U.S. Players help Radhika make the “transition from oppression to opportunity”. She “must find her voice in her own house and gain financial and social independence.” The game educates players and opens opportunities for them to assist if they wish to do so.

Do you think that social networking and games can really make a difference to real world problems?

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “New Facebook Game: Half the Sky

  1. Statistics show as the number of gamers has increased – the number of violent crimes in the US and UK have decreased.
    A lot of what has been said above is true. I find that on these online games people are often friendly and personable – not violent – and the problem solving skills of gamers are difficult to match. To be honest, it’s much more appropriate to sanction the horrific violence and sexual assault seen on shows like CSI Miami if you want to create less violent and less exposed youth than to stop what is really nothing more than a productive form of art which is for some a good way to pass the time. I find that the key skills mentioned here often appear in gamers – which – if you look at their function (open ended – rewarding to social play – rewarding to trying new things which encourages mental dexterity) it’s no wonder these features appear. Game developers don’t need to create worlds for “kids to enjoy” – these games aren’t for kids – that’s an old – in-the-past stereotype – they should create social environments which encourage the behaviour discussed here as well as creating engaging stories (which are practically prerequisites of good games these days).

    Like

  2. It is worth pondering the effectiveness game environments as ways for students to engage with issues, whether that is learning skills in game set in a “real” context. The experience the consequences – successes and failures – along with the constraints that face those trying to facilitate change or to move others to take actions that lead to social changes such as those being targeted by the Half the Sky Movement.

    Like

  3. As a non-gamer and one that doesn’t even have a facebook account I’m totally inexperienced in the area and not in a position to put forward an informed opinion however I can surmise a few things. I was intrigued by Bereket’s account of his experience in gaming which got me wondering about the attributes of good games and bad games. I suppose a game could be used to further a humanitarian cause such as alerting the world to the plight of women who suffer institutionalised discrimination. Are we able to determine the impact that playing such a game has on the players’ attitudes? Can gaming trivialise issues such as this and actually desensitise us to the inequalities and injustices in the world today or will it awaken our ability to empathise and be compassionate towards others? I’m definitely going to check out this game and maybe I’ll get some of my questions answered.

    Like

    • It is an interesting way to engage and educate an audience by immersion in an issue. Perhaps gaming is a way that people can really see the issues and even develop a measure of empathy? Can gaming make us be more than aware? Could playing the game make us engage emotionally as well as intellectually? You make a good point Mrs Oliver – how do we measure the impact of the game on player’s attitudes?

      Like

  4. Because I also don’t have facebook I am not sure how well the games on there work and how popular they become, but I think if you are trying to make a difference in something (like this game is trying to do) I think that facebook is the right place to play it as lots of people are on it, and if someone sees it, their friend might look at it, then thier friend might look at it, at so on.

    Like

  5. The world has been rapidly changing, and it will continue to change. Spreading the message needs to be engaging, creative, witty, and must have an impact to get through. That’s how a message needs to be sent, and how it always will. Nothing has really changed in this sense other than the medium in which it is enclosed in. Sure, it might be fun to play and from what “Oldie” (I’m guessing Mrs Oliver, haha) mentioned, “trivial”, but I’m sure there are people will realise the hidden, ugly truth underneath this exterior. Kony 2012 made a huge, explosive impact on the Western countries, and was distributed through YouTube. Seeing as Facebook is the top social network at the moment, and since nearly everybody is on it, there are bound to be some who will notice, some who will be intrigued and some who will understand. It’s just a matter of finding those people…

    Like

  6. hmm, this game sounds interesting, I haven’t played this myself so I wouldn’t know what its like but from the sounds of it, it sounds rather educational. True there are some online games out there that are completely useless, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be games that are helpful. by the sounds of this game and the way it takes you through the different countries to help make the “transition from oppression to opportunity” perhaps its trying to stimulate an curiosity to those who do play about the world, and maybe it will encourage them to help out.

    Like

  7. Video’s games from my stand point as someone who plays them avidly and one day wish’s to work in the industry, video games can definitely do a lot, they’re more than just a medium that can entertain, even though that is their primary use. They can change the way a person thinks or acts, this appears a lot in a type of video game called “Propaganda Games”, this range from poking fun at an issue to just plain wrong I won’t even try to list some, but that is evidence that video games can change people. This web based game is certainly a step in the right direction in creating something that could make a difference to some, Facebook is one of the most used social networking websites and it’s the only one to feature a broad range of web based games, it seems like an amazing place to start with the issue as well. But when it all boils down, it’s whether or not the game can grip the audience and pull them in for more than a couple minutes. All in all it sounds like an interesting experience.

    Like

  8. Games on facebook become so popular because almost everyone is on facebook. They see their friend unlocks an achievement or they have been beaten by a friend so they try and play it to see what it looks like. Its a social network and they can be social through the games that they play. They can invite friends to play , invtite them to be neighbours etc.

    Like

  9. I think that setting up a Facebook game would be a great way for real problems to get noticed by a lot of people because Facebook is very popular. Social networking and games can make a difference towards real problems because it is a good way for the facts and knowledge to spread. Games highly impact us because they are addictive and a video game could get gamers interested in the problems around us.

    Like

    • I think you are right Liam. Educating people while they do something they like doing and do anyway, such as playing Facebook games, is a good way to get people to learn about the issues. Perhaps they also get a better sense of the issue – a better understanding? What do you all think?

      Like

  10. i believe that if facebook set up a game about real world problems it would be a great idea. it would make a lot of people know more about problems that are happening in the world. millions of poeple would see the game as facebook is a highly populated social website.

    Like

  11. I think social networking and games definitely make a difference. Without them we wouldn’t be as educated as we are now or be able to communicate with fellow people around the world. The way these games and social networking can change the world is that ‘messages’ can be sent around, notifying issues to those in need, or to those who need to know what is happening in that specific area. With Facebook having a new game, many other people will know about it because Facebook is a highly populated site.

    Like

  12. Its a good idea that Facebook could set up a game that involves real world problems. it lets the Facebookers become wary about what is really happening in the outside world. By creating the game it makes many people think about what they would do as the character of the game. making the decisions in the game you can learn from it and bring that out to the real world. A lot of games now a days involve high graphic resolution to enjoy, but even a game with bad quality and a great story line is really all the user needs to be entertained and enjoy.

    Like

  13. Because Facebook is popular, i think that majority of people on facebook are playing games and i definately think that these games could help our prolems. I think this because when more and more people ply it they might realise and it could solve the worlds issues, problems etc.

    Like

  14. I think that it would be good for facebook to create a game that would involve real world problems because it would stop people from living in the fake internet world. It would also be a good change from the games that are not so good on facebook currently.

    Like

    • I agree Hayden. This would be a game with a real world purpose behind it. Compared to growing fake crops or amassing fake armies, a game like this would teach you about the issues people are facing in countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria, parts of Pakistan and other places.

      Like

  15. I think a facebook game would be a great way to raise awearness and inform people about some of the global issues we are facing as many people hve facebook. By putting global issues into a game thigns will be interactive making people actualy understand almost how it feels to be in someone elses shoes. Hopefully this idea continues as i think it is a great way to inform people.

    Like

  16. agree! i think facebook games would be a fantastic because most of the people have got facebook nowdays. so the new facebook games would help our problems and a also it is good for the rest of the world and it also help to educate people in the world.

    Like

  17. Setting uop a facebook game about real world problems would be great. it will be able to help people with there problems and if they are stuck in life and need some support, they can go on the game and it will be able to help them out.

    Like

  18. I think that making a game about real world problems is a brilliant idea, because people are playing games on facebook everyday that do not really have a meaning or anything. I think a game like this would be very engaging, and would get peoples attention on important world problems unlike small problems that we face everyday.

    Like

  19. this is a great idea to help kids expand their knowledge and it is very great to play all Facebook users should get on this game and have a go at it i say that it is a great idea

    Like

  20. Games are very popular and Facebook will only make it better known to people around the world. It’s a good way to spread the word and tell people to wake up and stop worrying about their first world problems. There are people around the world who face problems so much worse than ours and yet most of the general public are oblivious to the fact. Raising awareness is a good way to get people who are willing to help to get involved and change the world one small step at a time. Unlike other simulation games it has a meaning to it and it can really trigger emotions for some people and get the word across fast, through friends and other means of social media. They do have a lot of pages with pictures that ask you to like it to show respect etc. but a game gives a person better understanding of the how it really is for someone. Sadly despite the fact that games are an engaging way to raise awareness there are many useless games on Facebook that put people off for good and not everyone likes educational games.

    Like

  21. In these ages most teenagers have Facebook, Twitter, deviant Art etc.
    so with a online game that can be played on face book which has more than 1.01 billion active users a lot of people will be able to play this game, and gain awareness to other people that are in other country’s and who are living much harder lives.

    I really do think this is a good idea and i will play on it too when i am able.

    Like

  22. I do believe that a game could easily send a message it is just a matter of understanding the message through the game.Getting everyone to know about a game isn’t easy unless passed on.
    I’m unsure on the idea mainly because once i has been around for a while it will lose interest. I also think that people need an understanding of real world problems before they play the game.
    I do believe that this game can make a difference but it’s the way people connect,share and socialize through facebook.

    Like

  23. I think this game will be quite popular since it’s on Facebook and at least its realistic compared to other Facebook games like “Farmville” so I think it should raise a lot of awareness and is a great idea.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s