If you have been reading the Sama Gazette and now the MagkaSama Project, you must be familiar with Half the Sky. First there was the book: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
We organized a discussion group when the French version of the original book: La Moitié du Ciel has been available in France. The PBS documentary series was broadcast in October 2012, and Half the Sky Movement: The Game will debut on Monday March 4.
An article about Half the Sky Movement: The Game and other cause games has been published on The New York Times website. Elizabeth Jensen writes:
Social cause gaming, or the use of games to promote awareness of societal problems, has been growing since pioneer online projects like Food Force, the United Nations World Food Program’s 2005 game about confronting famine, and Darfur Is Dying, MTV’s 2006 offering in which players navigate the terrors of a Sudanese refugee camp.
Subsequent games have raised awareness of subjects like H.I.V., sex trafficking and political conflicts, among others.
On March 4, a new game on Facebook, inspired by the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” will be introduced, with a focus on raising awareness of issues like female genital mutilation and child prostitution.
Half the Sky Movement: The Game, more than three years in the making, is one of the most ambitious efforts yet to entice a mass audience to social media games with the goal of social change. It is a concept, however, that even its supporters say is largely untested.
The central character, an Indian woman named Radhika:
The Half the Sky game starts out simply, as Radhika ponders how to afford a doctor visit for her sick daughter (the answer is to harvest mangoes, which players do for her).
Each step requires players to answer a question — for example, should Radhika ask her husband for help or stay silent? Neither answer is wrong, but each takes players on a different route.
As her empowerment grows, Radhika moves across the globe to Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan. But many of the game choices get progressively darker. One leads to a mother living and her baby dying.
You can read more on Half the Sky Movement: The Game and other cause games on this page.