The Revolution Won't Be Televised, It'll Be A Game

Think FarmVille meets real world activism.

Online site Armchair Revolutionary is a social game that hopes to tap into the millions upon millions who are playing games on places like Facebook to create crowd-sourced, viral activism.

According to USA Today, Armchair Revolutionary users can participate in activities that include quizzes, voting, volunteering for tasks, uploading photos and donating to projects.

"We have combined several different models and integrated them in a way that we consider to be the ultimate platform for shaping the future, for making positive change in the world," says site's president, Ariel Hauter.

Advisers for the site include film producers Lawrence Bender (Inglorious Basterds) and Scott Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum), among others.

Each year, the site will develop up to 250 projects based on social issues, and here are the first few projects:

Hack Your Body: With a goal of preparing the public for the genomic revolution, the project includes the making of a documentary about mapping personal genomes. Software will help consumers analyse their health history. Users start by taking a quiz about genetic research. They have the option of donating to the production of a short film.

End of Darkness: This project aims to finance the launch of a for-profit company that will sell low-cost solar kits to the world's poor, starting in India. Users start with a quiz and a donation option.

Make Waves: Users can help create an ocean activism game that promotes sustainability of the seas. Players would own and maintain a 3-by-3-foot plot of the ocean just as they would a virtual plot in FarmVille. A player's actions could help reduce habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution.

The progress of users will be ranked, just like in online games and will earn rewards for their hard work.

Digital Download: Join the Armchair Revolutionaries [USATODAY]


    While addictive casual games are on the rise thanks to Popcap and Zynga, I'm not sure this will penetrate. Like Edutainment, having your actions go further than the game world can be off-putting. What if one week you don't have the time to grow your rainforest and a family of gorillas dies?

    Besides, right now I see one copycat game and two surveys.

    P.S. Great picture

    I think this is the right idea although I reserve judgement on the execution. Games like this, if done right, have a huge potential for real world change.

    You don't even really need to make a new one, stick some product placement in Farmville and send the proceeds to charity...

    I think the concept is a little scary. Sounds a bit like the kind of thing that guy predicted in his talk at GDC. That is true world change is reduced to "You are playing a game for world change" regardless of whether the companies motives are pure or not.

    That being said I mainly wanted to comment on the Gorillaz quote :D

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now