Facebook game gets kids needed surgery
WAYNE, PA.: January 23, 2012 (WPVI) -- Millions play games online, such as Farmville. Now, the game "A Better World" turns all that fun to real benefit.
"A Better World" allows players to report good deeds, which are tallied to raise money for charities.
In just 2 months, "A Better World" players posted 1 million deeds. In return, the game creator, ToonUps of Wayne, Pennsylvania, will donate money to CURE International, enabling more than a dozen children in developing nations to receive surgery for crippling conditions.
ToonUps creates animated software for online games, training programs, PowerPoint presentations, and other applications. Its products have been used by a wide range of companies, such as hotels, utilities, and telecommunications.
Last year, it launched "A Better World" to take gaming in a new direction.
"We wanted to transition from the virtual world to the real world," says Ray Hansell, the chairman and co-founder of ToonUps.
"So that what you do in the virtual world has meaning in the real one," he says.
They noticed that half the people on Facebook are nearing or in the Baby Boomer age range, and for them, "shoot-em up games just don't do it," remarks Greg Hansell, ToonUps vice president of development. So they decided on a family-friendly game.
And they noticed how many people want to do good needs, but need a little nudge.
"Everyone is right on the edge," he notes.
Combine the two, and you get "A Better World," with its own online community.
The Hansells decided to partner first with CURE International, a non-profit which gives life-changing surgery to children with curable disabilities. It focuses on relatively small operations with a big impact on children's lives.
"We want to help the lesser known, 501(C)3 charities, those which may be regional, not the big national groups," says Ray Hansell.
"A Better World" has found big fans among American women.
"90% of our players are female," notes ToonUps co-founder Mary Sue Hansell.
"We have many mommy-bloggers who say how they enjoy playing 'Better World' with their children and grandchildren," she adds.
The Hansells believe the game is a fun way to instill good values in children.
ToonUps will partner with another organization next month and so on.
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