On March 22nd 2012, World Water Day, Butterfly Works launches a serious, but fun game about water scarcity in slums. The game and supporting Facebook campaign aims to create awareness amongst Dutch youth about the life of young people living in slums and especially in relation to water and the environment.
World wide, nearly 1 billion people live in slums and the number is growing, water is a basic necessity and providing access to clean water and sanitation for the world’s poor is one of the millennium development goals set for 2015.
Recently the popularity of ‘Games for Change‘ is growing, whereby the help of gamers is enlisted to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. GetH2O Challenge is a game about the challenges that slum dwellers face getting (clean) water. A fun game based on real life situation, with an educational purpose the game allows you to experience the race against the clock managing water, housing and pollution.
In the game you play the role of a ‘Change Maker’ who is working for the good of the community.
Your aim in the game is to build houses and manage the water supply while keeping the pollution in check, you can build water tanks and wells to improve the supply but time is always against you. In the end the best way to win the game is to build a community centre where the whole community come together to take action to solve the problem for once and for all.
On the accompanying Facebook campaign page Ben and Winnie, two students who live in Kibera, (an informal settlement of Nairobi) Kenya, share a video message giving you a glimpse into their life and the challenges they stumble upon getting water everyday.
By playing the flash game Dutch young people can experience slum life and what choices you can choose from and in that way learn to understand just how difficult things can be. Young people motivated to do something about the issue can share the game and the video messages with friends on Facebook, or donate money to one of a selection of water projects through the crowdfunding site 1%CLUB who is collaborating in the campaign.
Play the game, check out the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/GetH20Game and share it with friends.