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Games for good

chandigarh Updated: Feb 19, 2014 11:26 IST


aming on mobile platforms and browsers need not always be about blowing a zombie’s brain out or trying to guide exploding birds into castles filled with pigs. Some of them have been addressing serious issues, ranging from women’s empowerment to defecating in the open. Here are some options you can consider downloading that raise awareness about social issues in the virtual world.

Angry Brides

Addresses: The issue of dowry

This anti-dowry game takes on the payment and receipt of gifts at ­weddings that is illegal in India, became quite a rage when it was launched in 2012. Still popular online, it sees players attack prospective grooms greedy for dowry with a ­variety of weapons: from a brick-red stiletto to a broomstick. Each time one of the three grooms — a doctor, an engineer and a pilot —take a hit, more money is added to the bride’s anti-dowry fund.

Available on: Facebook

Half The Sky Movement: The Game

Women’s empowerment

As part of the gameplay, players embark on a ­journey around the world that begins in India, and takes you to Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan, finally ending in the US. Along the way, you meet different characters and help them by unlocking funds from the game’s sponsors that go on to make direct impact in the real world. Players can also choose to make personal donations to any of the game’s non-profit partners at any point.

Available on: Facebook

Get Water!

Addresses: Water conservation

The game takes players on a journey with a girl named Maya, who loves going to school, but keeps getting sent out to collect water instead. She then has to overcome several obstacles in her effort to access clean water. Players can get involved in real life as well — buy some pencils for Maya in the game and Decode Global, the developers, will match the amount in dollars and donate it towards charity that helps get clean water.

Available on: App Store, Facebook

Other cool games worth checking out:

Sidekick Cycle: Every 387 downloads of this bike-racing game allows World Bicycle Relief to send a bicycle to an impoverished ­community.

Available on the App Store

Climate Defense: Take on global warming in this game that asks players to absorb carbon dioxide before it builds up in the atmosphere.

Available on Google Play

Uplifted: A group of evil monsters has taken happiness away from your lands. Get it back and help recover some joy in the real world as well. Available on App Store, Google Play.

Take Poo To The Loo

Addresses: Defecating in the open

It ducks, it dodges, it avoids — Poo’s running away, but it needs to be wiped out. The objective is to build a poo-free country for all the people residing in it by using the flush before the problem becomes so big that it destroys the nation. The game was launched as part of UNICEF India’s campaign to take on defecation in the open.

Available on: Facebook

Dumb Ways To Die

Safety around trains and railway tracks

Originally launched by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia, as a public service announcement for platform safety, the video went viral in 2012. To make more of an impact, a game with the same title was launched. As part of the game, players can also pledge "to not do dumb things around trains" while trying to avoid dangerous activities such as poking a grizzly bear or getting into piranha-infested waters, engaged in by various characters featured in the game.

Available on: Google Play, App Store