Global Gaming Initiative has released a smartphone game – titled Sidekick Cycle – which will donate half its profits to the World Bicycle Relief charity.
The downhill racer is launching in June and BikeBiz sister site Mobile Entertainment interviewed the Global Gaming Initiative’s CEO Elizabeth Sarquis on the topic.
Why did you choose World Bicycle Relief as your first project?
“Well, a few years ago, my youngest son went to work for a non-profit organisation in Ecuador, where he helped build a school in a remote village. When he came back, he said that one of the things that had affected him most was the story of a ten-year old boy called Javier, whose walk to and from school was three hours each way. Furthermore, when the child got home, he had to take care of the rest of his family, so he really didn’t see going to school and getting an education as something that was worthwhile. Clearly, this was something that my son wanted to change, so he asked me what I could do to perhaps make a difference.
After thinking about this for a while, and knowing that there are many children who face such difficulties all over the world, I knew that trying to help them was going to involve something very different and very transformational. So, after a lot of thought, I realised that by playing games and connecting people to exactly the cause in question at the same time would be a splendid way of doing that.
In this case, we decided that we wanted to deliver bikes to children in Africa, so we spoke with World Bicycle Relief and sent two of our people to participate in the Africa Ride programme so that we knew exactly how the bikes were being distributed."
Do users of the app have anyway of finding out where there money is going?
With our game model there is something that we call the feedback loop. So, for example, for every 387 downloads of Sidekick Cycle, one kid gets a bike to ride to school on.
Read the rest of the interview here.