Today I was searching out the interwebs for information on what the world was doing about solving and ending homelessness, and I came across this idea for a new mobile game, something you would play on your iPhone or Android device.
The name, originally, was iBeg, but after receiving some fairly heavy push back in response to that name, now it will simply be called “Homeless”. The idea was to create a game that would draw the participants into a greater awareness of what experiencing homelessness is really like. It was created to simulate the environment of Vancouver, British Columbia, but the desired reach was to be worldwide.
The lead of the team that is designing the game is Chris Worboys, who launched a Kickstarter campaign for $15,000 back in October of last year. That total would contribute to everything from licensing to marketing materials.
I have no doubt that the intention behind this venture is honorable. Certainly this is a step up from the cheaper laughs produced by apps that allow you to make your own cardboard sign on your smartphone. I think one of those is called, “iBum”. Is it just me or is this tasteless?
For the new “Homeless” game that is set to be released sometime this spring, I have to wonder if it will truly have the effect its creators are hoping for. Do young men playing “Call of Duty” gain a deeper appreciation of the sacrifice and struggle of going to war? Is this going to actually generate social change and understanding of what homelessness is like? Or will it serve as a means to further perpetuate negative stereotypes regarding life on the streets?
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