An Online Game With Real-World Results — in Uganda
As a culture, we often struggle to balance our attraction to new technology with our need for a real, physical connection with the planet and other people. We're seeing a new trend emerging from that struggle: online games with real-world results. We've already mentioned Arbopals, an online game that funds actual tree plantings, and eMission, a Facebook game that requires players to take offline action to advance. An Ecorazzi post alerted us to a new arrival on the tech-philanthropy scene: an iPhone app called Raise the Village.
Raise the Village lets users purchase essentials like mosquito nets, farming tools, and water jugs for a virtual village; the app's proceeds then fund the purchase of real-life supplies for the Ugandan village of Kapir Atiira, a community that has faced challenges such as erratic weather and political instability. Since the real-life component of the game is ultimately what's important, feedback is integral — photos of Ugandan villagers are sent to players' iPhones when supplies are delivered. It's a creative concept that has the potential to help people become more connected to the causes they support.