A different kind of systemic change project? Many people have heard of the games FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Zynga Poker. What many people, gamers and nongamers, might not know is that Zynga gamers have raised nearly $3 million for Haiti since  October 2009.

But as the graphic shows the folks at Zynga are using the funds to try to break the cycle of poverty in Haiti.

They are currently focusing their efforts on families and children in the Plateau Central Départment, which was significantly impacted by tens of thousands of refugees who survived the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Contributions from their players have been critical in building a kitchen to provide hot lunches to 200 school children, and in supporting children to attend school.

Zynga –  Zafen! (Sounds linke a chant!)

Zynga is among the sponsors of Zafèn

There is even a Zynga team that has raised $350,000!

In another post I hope to explore what will call strategy games the provide vicarious experiences of various aspect of poverty such as Hobson’s Choice or Ayiti, a game developed in 2005 to bring home the complexity of survival in Haiti (pre- earthquake.)


  • Have you ever thought of games the way the people at Zynga think…”We believe social gamers can make a powerful and positive impact when provided with opportunity.”
  • If you are a Zynga gamer (think Farmville or other game) were you aware you could help Haiti?
  • What other infinitely creative ways are there of approaching systemic change?

Join the conversation below…

Tags: , ,