A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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?
- Platforms: Facebook
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, global awareness
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, respecting other viewpoints
Emotional Development: empathy, persevering, perspective taking
Communication: friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community, integrity, respect for others
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making
Health & Fitness: preventing sickness
Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
- Price: Free with microtransactions
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Frima Studio
- Release date: March 4, 2013
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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