German food programme Welthungerhilfe makes land grabs into a game, and shows, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way, how serious the topic is. In “das kostet die Welt” (“the cost of the world”), the player adopts the role of a predatory investor, putting countries into the online shopping cart. Being a profit-hungry speculator, the player has to make sure the grabbed land has fertile agriculture, good irrigation, and ideally a high level of corruption. A land grab in the Congo for instance really pays off – it’s worth 2000 points. When the shopping cart is full, the points are tallied up and the player is ranked on a scale from petty criminal to global player.
Players are initially just trying to get a top score, but in the process, they end up learning about the real-life effects of land grabs: the intensive water consumption, the sinking water table and the destitution of smallholder farmers driven from their land. For players moved to try and change this, there’s an option to donate to Welthungerhilfe in proportion with how many points they scored – the more successful the land grab, the higher the donation!
People think in stories. To communicate effectively, social organisations need to use this fact in the way they reach people online.Show trend
Social impact games are an engaging and accessible way to raise awareness of social issues.Show trend