Friday, July 17, 2020

What if what you do in a video game becomes real?

Erase the border between fiction and reality. That is the premise from which African Aid starts, the new project of Francisco Tellez, creator of video games such as 'UnEpic' and 'Ghost1.0'. The main goal is to have fun, but also here you can save real lives while you do it. Do you dare?

African Aid is a simulator of NGOs working in Africa, in which you carry out different missions. If that just put you back ... wait. Despite the fact that the reality on which the game is based is harsh and can be dramatic, its creator stresses that the game is designed to make you really enjoy yourself while helping. There are two game modes depending on the role you assume. You can be Sarah, a member of the NGO and responsible for the strategic part, or Jesse, driver, and mechanic. If you decide to play the role of Sarah you must organize the supplies and completely different levels of missions. Vehicles, items, and doctors, nurses, and other staff are at your disposal. If you decide to be Jesse you will have to drive an SUV through complex routes. You will take medicines, solar panels, food ... in the shortest possible time and making sure that the cargo arrives in perfect condition.

And how does African Aid turn all that into real change?

As you unlock missions in your game, part of what you have invested in purchasing the game is donated to real organizations with equivalent missions on the ground. Thus, African Aid, like other technological initiatives, seeks to achieve real change in Africa.

Francisco Téllez, its creator, traveled there to see this reality first hand, collect anecdotes and details that he has tried to capture in the game without forgetting the playful aspect of the project. Thus, playing allows users to better understand what the work of non-profit organizations in developing countries consists of and the day-to-day problems they must face. Become aware, and also get infected with the positive values ​​of your work, such as work, hope, or friendship.

The bad news is that African Aid is not yet available. It is a totally independent project and not linked to any specific organization, so to go to the market you still need to complete an initial mission, that of getting all the financing you need, through a fundraiser on Kickstarter, a well-known platform for crowdfunding. If you liked the idea, you can put your grain of sand into the project. The platform allows you to choose between contributions of different amounts, and in some cases, also get different rewards in exchange. For example, one of the characters bears your name. To collaborate take a look here. And get ready to really help while you don't stop playing.

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