Archive: half the sky

Half The Sky Mobile Games finalists for INDEX: Award

We are delighted to announce that our suite of mobile games for Half the Sky Movement/Games for Change have been selected as finalists for the 2013 INDEX: Award.



A film about the development of Half the Sky.

INDEX: Award is a prestigious biennial design award, set up in 2005 by INDEX: Design To Improve Life to acknowledge and reward companies developing creative solutions to global and local challenges. Spread across five different categories - Body, Home, Work, Play, and Community – previous winners include groundbreaking social housing projects, One Laptop Per Child, an airbag for cyclists and the Tesla roadster.

Mudlark worked tirelessly with  to design the three games - Worm Attack9 Minutes and Family Values - in a way which would have a genuinely positive effect in India and East Africa, especially amongst women and girls. We are particularly pleased our work, blending social impact content with compelling gameplay, has been recognised in the Play & Learning category.

Downloaded over 25,000 times to date, the Half The Sky Movement games were designed for target audiences on non-smart, low-end, widely-available mobile handsets and built in J2ME – a platform for older “feature phones”, still dominant in the developing world.

Winners of the INDEX: Awards will be announced on 29th August at the home of Hamlet, Kronborg Castle, Helsingør (Elsinore), Denmark before a public exhibition opens across Copenhagen on the 30th August.

We will be sporting our black ties and crossed fingers.

Half the Sky

Just back from India, where I”ve been on the discovery phase of Mudlark”s latest project, designing four mobile social impact games as part of the Half the Sky multi-platform project.

Half the Sky is already a best-selling book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, that tells stories of women in the developing world, stories that are by turns shocking and inspiring as they experience terrible deprivation and brutality and battle against them. The book suggests ways forward partly through these examples and also by laying out a series of actions and campaigns – political, moral, educational, medical, economic – that can not only improve the lot of females in these societies but the societies themselves.

Half The Sky is now extending out via a PBS special next year , a social action game on Facebook and a lot of work with NGOs, including the mobile games we are designing for , the executive producers of the Half The Sky transmedia material.

I spent a week in and around Delhi with Games For Change and Indian developers and distributors ZMQ, meeting, talking and – most vitally – listening with and to a variety of NGOs, as well as visiting various communities at whom the games might be aimed.

An Indian woman user her mobile phone.

We are designing for the very “established” Java, J2ME platform, because those are the sorts of phones you will find in these communities. Typically , there”s one mobile per family and it stays in the house , like a landline – in effect it is the landline. But everyone has some access to the key piece of technology and most of them are already playing games on their phones.

 

A goat.

The constraints of the platform are also the challenges. The same goes for the issues we want to express and “play” in the games – both during the trip and since my return we have been brainstorming ideas for games that will help pre-natal health, get parents to let their female children stay in school after the age of ten, improve girls” health so they can stay in education themselves, confront domestic abuse and even suggest the experience of enforced prostitution.

Children using a mobile phone.

We are looking at twitch, puzzlers, platformers, tower defence, simple simulations… We want great gameplay on small screen that doesn”t require a lot of text and gets the player to think and learn, but also, most importantly, engage. Although the subjects are clearly pretty serious, we never want the games to be called “Serious Games”. We plan to blog about the project as it develops so watch this space.

Half the Sky

Just back from India, where I”ve been on the discovery phase of Mudlark”s latest project, designing four mobile social impact games as part of the Half the Sky multi-platform project.

Half the Sky is already a best-selling book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, that tells stories of women in the developing world, stories that are by turns shocking and inspiring as they experience terrible deprivation and brutality and battle against them. The book suggests ways forward partly through these examples and also by laying out a series of actions and campaigns – political, moral, educational, medical, economic – that can not only improve the lot of females in these societies but the societies themselves.

Half The Sky is now extending out via a PBS special next year , a social action game on Facebook and a lot of work with NGOs, including the mobile games we are designing for , the executive producers of the Half The Sky transmedia material.

I spent a week in and around Delhi with Games For Change and Indian developers and distributors ZMQ, meeting, talking and – most vitally – listening with and to a variety of NGOs, as well as visiting various communities at whom the games might be aimed.

An Indian woman user her mobile phone.

We are designing for the very “established” Java, J2ME platform, because those are the sorts of phones you will find in these communities. Typically , there”s one mobile per family and it stays in the house , like a landline – in effect it is the landline. But everyone has some access to the key piece of technology and most of them are already playing games on their phones.

 

A goat.

The constraints of the platform are also the challenges. The same goes for the issues we want to express and “play” in the games – both during the trip and since my return we have been brainstorming ideas for games that will help pre-natal health, get parents to let their female children stay in school after the age of ten, improve girls” health so they can stay in education themselves, confront domestic abuse and even suggest the experience of enforced prostitution.

Children using a mobile phone.

We are looking at twitch, puzzlers, platformers, tower defence, simple simulations… We want great gameplay on small screen that doesn”t require a lot of text and gets the player to think and learn, but also, most importantly, engage. Although the subjects are clearly pretty serious, we never want the games to be called “Serious Games”. We plan to blog about the project as it develops so watch this space.

Half the Sky

Just back from India, where I”ve been on the discovery phase of Mudlark”s latest project, designing four mobile social impact games as part of the Half the Sky multi-platform project.

Half the Sky is already a best-selling book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, that tells stories of women in the developing world, stories that are by turns shocking and inspiring as they experience terrible deprivation and brutality and battle against them. The book suggests ways forward partly through these examples and also by laying out a series of actions and campaigns – political, moral, educational, medical, economic – that can not only improve the lot of females in these societies but the societies themselves.

Half The Sky is now extending out via a PBS special next year , a social action game on Facebook and a lot of work with NGOs, including the mobile games we are designing for , the executive producers of the Half The Sky transmedia material.

I spent a week in and around Delhi with Games For Change and Indian developers and distributors ZMQ, meeting, talking and – most vitally – listening with and to a variety of NGOs, as well as visiting various communities at whom the games might be aimed.

An Indian woman user her mobile phone.

We are designing for the very “established” Java, J2ME platform, because those are the sorts of phones you will find in these communities. Typically , there”s one mobile per family and it stays in the house , like a landline – in effect it is the landline. But everyone has some access to the key piece of technology and most of them are already playing games on their phones.

 

A goat.

The constraints of the platform are also the challenges. The same goes for the issues we want to express and “play” in the games – both during the trip and since my return we have been brainstorming ideas for games that will help pre-natal health, get parents to let their female children stay in school after the age of ten, improve girls” health so they can stay in education themselves, confront domestic abuse and even suggest the experience of enforced prostitution.

Children using a mobile phone.

We are looking at twitch, puzzlers, platformers, tower defence, simple simulations… We want great gameplay on small screen that doesn”t require a lot of text and gets the player to think and learn, but also, most importantly, engage. Although the subjects are clearly pretty serious, we never want the games to be called “Serious Games”. We plan to blog about the project as it develops so watch this space.