What problem are you trying to solve?
For the people of Yemen, living in a country rife with civil war is the new normal. Since the war began in March 2015 education has been greatly affected. Nearly 3,600 schools have closed, bringing the total school-age population that is out of school to more than 3.4 million. That’s half of all school-aged children in the country. Women and girls are especially affected and face higher barriers in accessing basic education and in pursuing the careers they want. The effects of the war in Yemen are far-reaching. At the same time, there remains a mobile subscription penetration rate of over 42% and more than 2 million estimated Facebook users. Though there are humanitarian efforts to help meet basic needs among the Yemeni people, a user-centred solution is needed to truly understand where to go from here: to explore the most effective ways to encourage and empower peace – especially among young people – in order to successfully rebuild the country.
What is your solution to this problem?
Together with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) Butterfly Works is answering the call for peace. Working closely with creative and tech teams in Yemen, we co-created the Arabia Felix mobile games series: a creative outlet for the Yemeni community to engage in the peace-building process of their country. Each game is tailored to specific needs and contexts identified among, for example, female gamers and youth growing up in conflict. Arabia Felix is designed to inspire users to strive towards peace through entertaining quests, treasure hunts, puzzling and decision-making strategy, activities that we discovered through our user-centred approach are popular in Yemen. One game at a time, our international Arabia Felix team is doing its part to listen to the needs of Yemeni people, to explore how they communicate and what truly engages them in the peace-building process of their country and to co-create fun and effective solutions together.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
Four of our Arabia Felix games (Eduo Run, Eduo Quest and Secrets of Arabia Felix l and ll) are available in the Google Play Store and two new games are scheduled for release in mid-2018. Game formats are diverse in order to reach our target groups, which include young people, women and girls. Formats include point-and-click adventure games, a runner game, puzzle games and a decision-making strategy game. As of early 2018, the Arabia Felix mobile games ranked over 4.5 (out of 5) in the Google Play Store, with over 40,000 downloads of Eduo Run, Eduo Quest and Secrets of Arabia Felix l and ll combined. Our Facebook community continues to grow, with 22,000 fans and climbing! Our goal moving forward is to continue to adjust and develop our Arabia Felix series to engage a future generation of peace builders and female leaders in Yemen.