Monday, June 27, 2011

A Better World: The Facebook Game That Rewards Good

A little over a year ago, I openly admitted that I was the last person on earth to create a Facebook account. I had held out as long as I could but was finally forced to in order to apply for... something or other. Which I clearly must not have been selected for. So what was the point of Facebook again?

All I could tell at the time was that it was a way to find old friends (or people that I wasn't particularly friends with in the first place) and possibly keep in touch with them. In theory, at least.

Considering it took me a while to even find the time to figure out how to leave a comment on someone's wall, the invitations that I seemed to somehow be receiving to do some farming (what?) or join a mafia (even bigger what?) were not even registering on my list of things to do.

As a wife, mom, and blogger, my time is already spread pretty thin, so a game has to be a really great game in order for me to want to find out more about it, let alone play.

However, when I was introduced to A Better World and heard things players about being rewarded for good deeds and its promotion of acts of kindness and expressions of gratitude, well, in this case I actually wanted to hear more!

Created by ToonUps, a digital entertainment company that has focused on developing digital content that encourages a positive outlook and altruistic behavior, A Better World is the first of hopefully many more games in the future of the "do good" genre.

Using research showing that being encouraged to think about things that we are thankful for and doing activities that provide encouragement to others improves our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, A Better World gives players the ability to express gratitude and support to their friends... as opposed to requesting that they water crops. In short, it's a game that can make you feel good about playing it!

Getting started with A Better World is easy and there are more than 15 locations throughout the game to explore and try out:
  • Department of Do Good: a place you can share real world good deeds you’ve performed and see what other members of the community have done.
  • Gratitude Grotto: a charming area where you can reveal what you are thankful for and express your support for messages left by others.
  • Sanctuary of Hope: a building where you can communicate your hopes and dreams and send encouragement to other players.
  • Arcade: a play area with uplifting mini-games to enjoy alone or with friends.
  • Better Pets Pet Shop (a new feature): filled with adorable puppies, cute kittens or even a magical unicorn
Each area of the game is fun and gratifying in its own way and has the ability to leave you feeling good. Whether you go on to report that you've done something good, reveal what you are feeling thankful for or to support others, you'll find yourself feeling inspired, in a more uplifted mood about about yourself, and in general part of a positive community.

Even though both of my children are too young to play games online, knowing that ones like A Better World are out there makes me glad. It isn't violent, it isn't offensive, it isn't sending negative messages... in fact, it's just the opposite. Who wouldn't be happy to know that their children are playing a game that can help make a difference virtually and out in the real world?

With more than 125,000 players already, isn't it time that you spent your free time on something good rather than just wasting it? Find A Better World on Facebook and get started making a difference today!

I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.