Pulitzer-Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn announced this morning the March 4th launch of the latest installment of the Half the Sky Movement: a web-based game. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is a game-based adventure that aims to reach mainstream audiences to raise awareness and donations to empower women and girls around the world. The groundbreaking Facebook game introduces direct virtual-to-real-life translation, achieved by inviting players to move through a series of quests and stories related to real-world challenges that women and girls face, with issue-specific solutions provided by seven nonprofit organizations: The Fistula Foundation, GEMS, Heifer International, ONE, Room to Read, United Nations Foundation, and World Vision. The game is executive produced by Games for Change, a nonprofit that catalyzes social impact through digital games, and all its revenue is directed to charitable causes.
Half the Sky Movement: The Game is the latest addition to the cross-media platform of the Half the Sky Movement, which includes the #1 New York Times best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and a critically acclaimed primetime PBS television series, produced by Show of Force, featuring A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, Olivia Wilde and George Clooney. Inspired by the book and TV series, the game invites players to become part of the solution and make real-world impact through play.
"We want to reach a broader audience for these issues we care deeply about," said Kristof and WuDunn. "We hope that a Facebook game that is fun and viral can be a way to do that, reaching people who aren't now interested in women's empowerment. This is an experiment, because we're not sure that there has ever been a social purpose game with as much collective effort, and we're hoping it is going to make a difference for The Players - and for women and girls around the world."
The idea for the Facebook game was discussed when Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn participated in the 2009 Games for Change Festival, an annual event uniting game designers and those seeking to harness their impact for social good. They had seen how games can raise awareness of important issues that otherwise tend to get neglected.