Awareness-raising games

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Apps
Tags: , , , ,

By coincidence, recent weeks have seen the release of two ‘do-gooder’ video games, bringing activism into a largely untapped medium.


Sweatshop” ( is a game produced by Britain’s Channel 4, in which people learn how sweatshops work by acting in the role of a factory manager. It gained extra press coverage by being de-listed by Apple from their App Store a couple of days ago. It is probably better considered as a game about ethics, as you experience the conflicting demands on the manager, than a game that encourages activism. I’m not sure how many people would want to take on the role of the oppressor. No doubt they thought about this during development, it must have seemed difficult to make a sweatshop employee the protagonist. Which brings us to the second game…


Half the Sky” ( – a game in which the player takes on the personna of a rural woman working her way towards empowerment, which is a much more appealing plot line. As an added feature, playing the game raises real-life dollars for seven partner development organisations. Cute huh?


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