1024 698 Art Works for Change

Aware / Oware Video Game

There are few electronic or online games that address the empowerment of girls. A recent online search of “games for girls” revealed a long list reflecting formulaic and typecast attitudes towards girls and their interests, such as: Makeover, Cooking Game, Frogtastic 2, Shopaholic Hollywood, and Disney College Princess. There is a dearth of games that inspire and empower girls and young women.

Art Works for Change will create a groundbreaking game sharing real stories of women and girls and the challenges and achievements on their journey to empowerment.

AWARE/OWARE is a digital game to address six aspects of female empowerment as experienced through various cultural perspectives. It has been adapted from the 7,000-year-old board game Oware (also known as Mancala), a strategy game played all over the world. Originally a counting game of reaping and sowing seeds in the scooped-out hollows of an earthen game board, Oware historically has been played not only for enjoyment but has been passed down from generation to generation as a useful educational and empowerment tool. It teaches that “you must learn to give in order to receive.”

In AWARE/OWARE, players reap stories, as told by avatars representing different countries and cultures. The stories reflect both before and after empowerment to include economic, educational, health, environmental stewardship, human rights, and political rights issues. Designed for iOS, Android, and web platforms, AWARE/OWARE is designed for females 13 and up. The AWARE/OWARE website will also house an online gallery where the players can share their own stories and artwork.

Participating Artists and Organizations

Daniel Mok, Odile Sullivan-Tarazi, Voices and Faces Project, Maryland Institute College of Art