In a recent shock to many, a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts was put towards an educational video game called ,HERadventure, developed by filmmaker and digital media artist Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., founder and director of the Digital Moving Image. The game follows a warrior woman from a distant sister planet of Earth who comes to investigate the cause of her native planet freezing and dying. She discovers that the auras of Earth’s women are decreasing which is causing the world to deteriorate. She enlists superheroes, the players, to take meaningful actions and figure solutions to issues of “negative self-esteem, discrimination, eating disorders, and depression, which are causing women’s auras to suffer.”
“What would happen if the societal issues affecting women put other planets at risk? Well, of course, HER, a Black female superhero, would swoop in with a plan to save the universe. HER is central to HERadventure, a science fiction-based, multimedia platform project that interweaves virtual worlds, digital and social media to create a gaming and storytelling experience. HERadventure not only entertains but tackles social issues that permeate the daily reality of many women.”
Using ARG mechanism (alternate reality games) players “teleport” through levels of the game using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, with a goal of helping the superhero save her planet and ultimately serve as catalysts for positive change in the virtual and real world.
This can become the beginning of a new way to create and use games for good in targeting and overcoming today’s dilemmas. In light of the Twitter Movement, SandyHook Shooting, and Jane McGonigal’s TED talk, just maybe we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Narz is CEO and Founder at Girl Gamer Vogue and Lead Video Game Columnist at KnickerBocker Ledger.