Half the Sky Movement: The Game

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Half the Sky Movement: The Game Game Poster Image
Empowering sim explores women's issues and activism.
  • Facebook
  • Free with microtransactions
  • 2013

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn citizenship, empathy, cultural understanding, and global awareness as they explore issues facing women around the world. Players make integrity-based decisions to help the community, and build friendships. Kids learn the importance of sickness prevention by learning about vaccines, mosquito nets, and other health tools. By playing Half the Sky Movement, teens become aware of women's issues around the world and how to think critically to resolve these challenges.

Positive Messages

The game encourages empathy, activism, community building, and equality by putting the spotlight on some of the issues faced by women around the world. Women in the community help each other start small businesses, care for children, leave abusive relationships, and secure scarce medicine and provisions, among other things.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Radhika is a fantastic role model. Players watch her become more and more empowered as she starts her own business, takes care of her family, volunteers her time to help others, and becomes an advocate and mentor for other women. Men are often depicted as obstacles in the oppressive societies in which the women live, but there are plenty of good male role models as well, such as Radhika's supportive husband, and village elders who are open to her ideas.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is uncomplicated. There's only one mini-game, and it's very simple.

Violence

Violence against women is described but not shown. For example, one scenario describes domestic violence and a woman's struggle to leave her abusive husband.

Sex

Sex is alluded to but not shown. For example, a young woman talks about becoming HIV positive as a result of a relationship with a man.

Language
Consumerism

Players are regularly asked to spend money, but it's for a good cause. The game solicits donations from players to real-world charities (some of which are sponsored by corporations like Intel) through in-game pop-up ads. Players can purchase a premium currency, called Hope Bonds, to speed up quests, and a portion of the proceeds from micro-transactions goes to charity as well.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Half the Sky Movement: The Game is a Facebook game that explores the challenges women face around the world, such as poverty, domestic violence, disease, and oppression. The game partners with various real-world charities, and encourages players to donate money and spread the word to friends through their news feed. The subject matter is heavy at times (for example, one character reveals that she is HIV positive; another has an abusive husband), but the game focuses on women making positive changes in their communities, and the overall tone is inspirational. Eighty percent of the money collected in the game through micro-transactions goes to partner charities, and 20% goes to the Games for Change and Tides Foundation to help keep the game running.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEppsS05 March 15, 2015
Adult Written byMichael H. February 18, 2018

Good

Good game
Teen, 14 years old Written bycld680515. September 1, 2017

What's it about?

The main character of HALF THE SKY MOVEMENT: THE GAME is Radhika, a young woman from India who becomes an advocate for women in her community and around the world. As Radhika interacts with other characters, first in India, and later in Kenya, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and the U.S., players make choices on her behalf that determine how the scene unfolds. For example, when there are only 10 mosquito nets to go around, should the last one to a pregnant woman, or to protect children at the hospital? Completing quests earns points in areas such as Economy, Education, Health, and Security, and leveling up these meters opens new quests and areas to explore. The quests that players complete in-game parallel real charities. For example, when Radhika obtains medicine for her daughter in the game, players are given the option to donate to Shot @ Life, a real-world charity that provides vaccines to children.

Is it any good?

Half the Sky Movement: The Game is unlike any other game on Facebook. Instead of the plot taking a backseat to gameplay, Half the Sky Movement switches things around and puts the focus squarely on characters, situations, and issues. It's not quite an interactive book -- there's still plenty to do, including resource-gathering, buying and selling, and opening up new areas to visit -- but the people and their everyday struggles will resonate strongly with players, even more so since every scenario is inspired by real issues that women face around the world every day.

What's more, Half the Sky Movement encourages players to become directly involved in finding solutions to the issues by donating money to real charities, spreading the word on Facebook, and taking action in their own communities and beyond. It's entertaining, educational, and inspirational all at the same time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea that in some parts of the world girls don't go to school. What would it be like to grow up not knowing how to read?

  • Many of the things Radhika and her friends fight for are things that women in other parts of the world take for granted. What are some of those things?

  • Do you believe games like this can be a vehicle for learning and change?

Game details

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