Half the Sky now is going digital with a new online game. In early 2013, the movement to empower women and girls continues with a new adventure on Facebook. This new game is part of a growing effort on the part of game developers (Zynga, in this instance) to partner with groups working for social change. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and brings players first to a small village in India to meet Radhika. The press release says that “Over 300 million people play online social games each month, and their demographic profile cuts across gender and age groups. In the game, Radhika will take players on a global journey, from India to Kenya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the U.S. In her transition from oppression to opportunity, she must find her voice in her own house and gain financial and social independence. Players start with very little, but as they complete quests to help Radhika and other girls and women, Radhika becomes a community leader. Whether helping a girl in the village to buy a bicycle that will take her to school, or fighting off an international gang of sex traffickers, Radhika becomes a force within her world.
“As Radhika progresses, players will unlock real-world giving opportunities that mirror actions in the game. Combining these gifts with matching donations from sponsors, this unique Facebook game converts players to activists and participants in the movement. Much more than a game, it aims at real change enabled by technology and the power of play. The NGO partners who benefit at launch include the Fistula Foundation, GEMS, Heifer International, ONE, Room to Read, the United Nations Foundation and World Vision. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is supported in large part by the Ford Foundation, with additional support provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, Intel, United Nations Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.