‘Sup NSquared homies?
What are ya’ll going to be up to this weekend? Well whatever it is, we’re sure you can squeeze in some time to deliver bikes to Africa.
No, really…we are completely sure you can. For serious. How you say? Like this:
“By Playing This Game, You Deliver Bikes in Africa
One company is taking a different approach to gamifying charity: by playing a game on your iPhone, you provide transportation to people in Africa.
The Global Gaming Initiative uses popular mobile game genres to create games that “make play purposeful.” The company’s first game, Sidekick Cycle, provides people in poor regions in Africa with bikes, through a partnership with charity World Bicycle Relief.
Sidekick Cycle, which was released last week on iTunes, is a downhill racing game where players navigate a bicycle on progressively difficult terrain. Half the proceeds are going to World Bicycle Relief. For every 387 games sold, a bike goes to a disadvantaged child. The game even keeps players updated with how many bikes they have helped donate. This is a different approach to gamification for charity, as Sidekick Cycle exists as a game with good mechanics first and a teaching tool second.
Our game does have a message, but it is through play and having fun that people learn
Our game does have a message, but it is through play and having fun that people learn,” said Global Gaming Initiative founder Elizabeth Sarquis. “In the U.S., bikes are a leisure activity for most, but in other parts of the world bikes are a form of transportation that provides access to education, health and employment.”
Sarquis said the company is focused on charity but also making the process both fun and transparent at the same time. ForSidekick Cycle and future games, it vets the charity thoroughly to assure they are transparent, as well as offer a tangible good that affects the lives in the communities they serve.
“After serving many years on non-profit boards, I became aware of the collapse of the non-profit model after the 2008 financial crisis,” Sarquis said. “As a result of that, people were willing to donate to charities, but they demanded accountability. They cared to know where their donations were going, especially with the transparency that the Internet can provide.”
Sarquis said Global Gaming Initiative wants to tap in to the passion of gamers and channel that passion into real-world problems.
“Mobile games allow engagement in a way that has never been seen before. Not only are the numbers of players astounding, but so is our connectivity,” she said. “We now realize that we are all connected and what happens in other parts of the world affects us all. The smartphone generation is not only aware of this but they actively want to ‘do good’ in a measurable way.”
Sidekick Cycle is out now for iOS for $0.99. Half of the purchase price, as well as half of the money from in-app purchases, go to charity.”
If you’re going to game it up this weekend, you might as well help some needy people in the process.