The Virtue Reality game is available as an app and has been developed by Islamic Relief UK alongside Ultimatum Games.
Islamic Relief UK has launched a gaming app to teach young people about international aid and tackle prejudice. The app called Virtue Reality has been created by the charity in partnership with Ultimatum Games. It is available to download for free and is based on the charity’s development projects in more than 40 countries, including Pakistan and Mali. Those playing the game are invited to build projects such as shelters and schools and then accumulate ‘deed coins’ to reflect good deeds that form part of the Muslim religion. Through the game players will also receive feedback about their projects and handle virtual donations. Users are also directed to the charity’s videos and details on how they can make a donation to the charity through in-app purchases.
Another aim of the game is to present positive images of Muslims amid concerns around rising Islamophobia, says the charity. "Virtue Reality comes from a recognition that Muslims are often not presented in a positive light in films, TV programmes or video games – all too often presented as ‘the bad guys," said a charity statement. “It also addresses a gap in the knowledge of the general public with regards to how foreign aid works.” Judith Escribano, Head of Communications at Islamic Relief UK, added: ‘We see Virtue Reality as a solution to two challenges presented by society: scepticism of aid and increasing Islamophobia. We are living in a political climate that is hostile to both aid and Muslims.”
“This game will teach both children and adults about the process of delivering aid and how the money donated is used. It will also show Muslims doing good deeds.” The game is being released globally from today (17 October). It’s launch event in the UK involves pupils trying out the game while attending the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield.