Get Water to Teach Children About Water Scarcity and Social Issues
There are games that try to create a message while still attempting to remain enjoyable. Many times either the message becomes blurred or the game simply isn’t fun. Get Water manages to hit both marks properly.
Get Water by Decode Global is a simple screen-swiping endless running game about a young girl named Maya who is dragged out of class to obtain water while fending off various animals in her way. Many swiping games such as this have little-to-no story or purpose — they’re just casual games to play when waiting at the doctor or in between classes. Get Water has strong messages about water scarcity, gender inequality, and educational problems that plague other countries.
In America we take our water supply for granted. We have dozens of brands of bottled water, flavored water, and so on. Yet in other countries water is rare and a chore to obtain. It’s not as easy as walking down the hall to the sink or getting a bottle at a cafe. Get Water shows us through gaming that what we call a common element is gold to others.
The game starts with the leading girl Maya being pulled out of class to fetch some water as the town’s pump is always broken. Within the first few seconds a multitude of social issues are introduced. Is water so scarce that someone has to be pulled from class to get it? Why is a young girl the one to have to do this? These are exactly the questions that Decode Global wants to answer and for the players to wonder. In a statement to CEO and founder of Decode Global, Angelique Mannella wants to “develop fun and engaging games that not only increase awareness about important social issues, but also drive change in our communities and the world.” in a statement to Forbes,
An app or game doesn’t need to be overly complicated for it to be a great example in gamification. In fact, Get Water is wonderfully simple and enjoyable to play and offers an appropriate level of progressive challenge.
Get Water features a continuous story featuring Maya broken into chapters and you progress by collecting enough water to hit the 100% mark for that level. It’ll take a few runs (or in my case many) to get the requirements to progress, but there are power-ups you can purchase with the in-game currency of pencils. You can earn pencils from playing the game and earning water droplets (points) or you can use the micro transaction system and buy pencils with money.
The thing I feel that’s done best is the story implementation. Other running games I’ve played in the past have no story, few power-ups, and even fewer dynamics to keep me engaged and playing weeks after I’ve purchased it. Even with a plethora of other games at my disposal I still find myself strangely addicted to Maya’s adventure.
It’s a simple and addicting game with a clear message. Players will surely enjoy the bright visuals and upbeat tone of the game and younger gamers will have an interactive way to learn about cultural issues and water scarcity. Even seasoned gamers will enjoy the a fresh take on the pick-up-and-play genre while learning about an outside culture. I’m not one for spoilers, so it’s up to you to see where Maya’s story takes her.