Anna Hazare inspires social gamers for social good in India

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Yes Prime Minister
If you thought the Facebook-fueled revolutions in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere were impressive, then check this out. Several games on Indian social networks like Ibibo have seen record boosts in player numbers since Indian activist Anna Hazare began his "fast unto death," Economic Times reports. Hazare, India's famous soldier-turned-activist, began another hunger strike earlier this month in his fight for implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill, an anti-corruption bill drafted by leading members of civil society that envisions speedy action in corruption cases, NDTV reports. But what's most interesting is that other activists have responded not by fasting, but playing.

While the networks most popular game is Mumbai Underworld, a game that lets players buy a house in the Adarsh Housing Society by paying off politicians and police. Ironically enough, the more illegitimate money you amass, the more points you earn. Over 800 thousand players chime in on the corruption, helping neighbors in the demolition.

Yes Prime Minister, a game released on Ibibo on April 1, soared from 50 thousand to 150 thousand players in just days thanks to Hazare's apparently inspiring efforts, according to Economic Times. "For us, a game is like an ongoing soap opera," said Ibibo CEO and founder Ashish Kashyap. "We create real events in a game to increase its social graph. Our objective is to make social games so that people can express themselves."

In most of these socially aware games in Ibibo, players ironically assume the role of those in power rather than the revolutionaries. Perhaps they are a reflection on the corruption of power, but logically speaking, why would you want to play as an activist when you could go outside and be one?

[Image Credit: Ibibo]

What do you think of the potential of social games in their effect on social causes? Could Facebook games be used as a revolutionary tool? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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