online maps and other perks.
WHO: The British Red Cross (they also have other online games).
THE CAUSE: Spawning awareness and empathy towards civilian victims of political conflict.
2. FOLD IT
WHAT: Foldit is an online series of puzzles that enables players to contribute to scientific research. The puzzles represent various challenges faced by scientists in their quest to solve the mysteries behind protein structure and and design.
WHO: Developed by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington in collaboration with UW Department of Biochemistry.
THE CAUSE: Important scientific research that may result in medical findings.
WHAT: Two players on separate screens have to solve a puzzle together, nonverbally. Lacking a common language yet joined by a shared goal, players undergo an emotional shift, climaxing when the puzzle is finally solved. A Games for Change Festival double nominee.
WHO: Coco & Co
THE CAUSE: Create personal connection.
4. FREE RICE
WHAT: Freerice’s homepage displays an educational, multiple choice question. For each correct answer, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme. The total donation is visually portrayed in an illustration of a bowl of rice filling up with each correct answer.
WHO: Free Rice
THE CAUSE: Helping end hunger in challenged regions worldwide.
WHAT: This is no mistake: the addictive Facebook app, where virtual farms are managed and real time is wasted, offers players opportunities to take Farmville actions that result in donations to various causes.
WHERE: Facebook, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
THE CAUSE: Zynga collaborates with a variety of nonprofits such as Save the Children.
WHAT: A social game for good, AOK is a platform for posting good deeds – your own or others’. Acts of goodness are rewarded with Cause Currency, which may be converted into charitable donations.
WHO: A collaborative effort of SHFT (co-founded by Peter Glatzer and actor Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame) , TGO.tv, Ludlow Kingsley, Natron Baxter Applied Gaming and Gameful.org.
WHERE: AOK.tv and on the iPhone.
THE CAUSE: Spreading and rewarding positive actions of all kinds.
WHAT: An online game that simulates financial challenges that may result in poverty and homelessness. Beautifully crafted, the game is played solo: with each click of the button the player is presented with a fact and a choice of action (what job do you take? how far from your workplace will you live?). Every choice you make is visibly reflected in a cash barometer, which represents your financial condition. The goal is to achieve financial stability.
WHO: Urban Ministries of Durham and McKinney
THE CAUSE: Raising awareness of poverty and homelessness.
8. GBO HAWAI’I
WHAT: Dubbed “the first sustainability themed board game for a mass market audience,” GBO Hawai’i simulates conducting sustainable business – a green version of Monopoly.
WHO: GBO Hawai’i is a product of GreenBusinessOwner.com.
WHERE: Available for purchase online. An iPad app is in the works.
THE CAUSE: Learning and spreading knowledge about sustainability.
WHAT: A real world game where San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland compete in an effort to share the most lemons and lemon goods.
WHO: Created in Creative Currency Hackathon by Chach Sikes and Anselm Hook.
WHERE: The game is managed online at lemonopoly.org, starting July 4, 2012. Activities take place offline.
THE CAUSE: A boost to the local lemon trade in California via neighborly camaraderie.
WHAT: This Facebook game that simulates the building of a virtual village, was created for social impact: users can turn points into monetary donations for charities that help families and kids worldwide. Plus, 50% of the company’s net profits are returned to their partners to complete social good projects.
WHO: Sojo Studios
THE CAUSE: Children’s causes: Save the Children, Children’s Health Fund, buildOn and Children’s Miracle Network.