Half The Sky Launches Facebook Game To Provide Funding For Women And Girls Worldwide

About 300 million people play social games on Facebook per month. Now imagine if even a fraction of their time was spent playing games that could trigger funding for positive causes.

That’s the concept behind “Half the Sky Movement: The Game,” a new Facebook game that engages players in a series of stories and adventures related to the challenges facing women and girls worldwide. The journey starts in India, then travels through Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan – destinations also featured in the “Half the Sky” book and PBS documentary from New York Times reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Throughout the game, players have the chance to “unlock” funding for these non-profits from the game’s sponsors, which include the Ford Foundation and Zynga.org. For instance, if a player collects books for a young girl in the virtual world, that will activate a real-life donation to non-profit partner Room to Read by the Pearson Foundation. Words With Friends sure doesn’t offer that kind of incentive.

“If we’re able to inspire a portion of this group of players to spend 15 or 30 minutes of their time with this game, the ripple effect of players’ actions will result in significant and much-needed funding for this critical cause,” say Asi Burak and Michelle Byrd, co-presidents of Games for Change, a non-profit that seeks to create social impact through digital games.

“Half the Sky Movement: The Game” launches on Facebook on March 4.

[Photo Credit: Half The Game]

Video Of The Day: ‘Half The Sky’ Visits Cambodia’s Toul Kork Road

Watch Meg Ryan Visits Cambodia’s Toul Kork Road on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Half the Sky” is more than a four-hour PBS documentary series; it is a movement to turn oppression into opportunity for women worldwide.

The documentary, which premiered earlier this month, is the film manifestation of the best-selling book by New York Times writers Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It follows Kristof and six American actresses as they travel to different countries in the developing world to explore issues facing women, from gender-based violence in Sierra Leone to sex slavery in Cambodia (featured in this clip).

The film swings from inspirational, to horrifying, to unspeakably sad. But while watching it will undoubtedly be a heavy experience, it will also be one that hopefully impels you to action – or at the very least provides a greater awareness of the things you witness in the places you travel.

The full documentary can currently be viewed only on PBS, but selected clips are available online.