“Half the Sky” Turns a Well-Known Book into Facebook Game

In celebration of Women’s History Month, esteemed journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have announced the release of the most recent addition to their Half the Sky Movement—on Facebook. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is based off real-world situations that affect women and girls in developing countries, and each challenge that players unlock will release actual donations to organizations that aid women in developing countries. The specific organization getting a donation will be one related to the game challenge, whether it’s a group promoting literacy, agriculture, women’s health and more.

Like many Facebook games, players can start to play for free, but then their “energy” runs out. You can wait for your energy to be restored—or purchase more. The game has already acquired $500,000 in donations for free play from Johnson and Johnson (for the Fistula Foundation) and the Pearson Foundation (for Room to Read). The game has other corporate sponsors as well, whose donations will benefit Heifer International, ONE, GEMS, the United Nations Foundation and World Vision. Eighty percent of all the money either donated or received in “energy” fees from players will go to one of these causes; the other 20 percent will go to Games for Change, the Tides Foundation and Zynga to manage, host and sustain the game. No donations, which are tax-deductible, go towards a profit.

The Half the Sky Movement emerged from Kristof and WuDunn’s 2010 bestseller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. By teaming with Zynga, one of the most popular Facebook game developers, they’ll be using yet another platform to try to spread their message of women’s empowerment while raising funds to help make that happen. Explains the authors:

This is an experiment, because we’re not sure that there has ever been a social purpose game with as much collective effort, and we’re hoping it is going to make a difference for the players—and for women and girls around the world.

Photo courtesy of Half the Sky Movement: The Game