Global human rights organization Breakthrough’s 12-week Facebook gaming event, America 2049, has entered its 4th week with over 11,000 players. The players are “networking for freedom” in which they explore how the choices we make today will shape our nation’s future.
The social media game features appearances by Harold Perrineau (Lost), Victor Garber (Alias), Cherry Jones (24), Anthony Rapp (Rent) and Margaret Cho (Notorious C.H.O.) Each celebrity generously donated their time and talents to help Breakthrough put a face on complex issues.
America 2049 players portray agents assigned by Jefferson Williams II (Garber) to capture fugitive Ken Asaba (Perrineau). As gameplay unfolds, they encounter an America splintered by race and ethnicity, hostile to women and self-expression. The game challenges us to ask: how close are we already to America 2049 — and how can we work together for a better future?
“America 2049 resonated with me because I love the idea of people fighting at all costs for their right to pursue the life they choose, without fear of persecution,” said Harold Perrineau. “I hope the game will inspire young people, especially, to help stop institutionalized hatred and intolerance — today.”
As players solve puzzles via videos, voice-overs, graphics, micro-sites and social media, they also encounter human rights themes including immigration, sexual orientation, trafficking, and labor. Events linked to these themes will take place at leading cultural organizations nationwide:
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago, IL)
Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York, NY)
United States Immigration Station, Angel Island (San Francisco, CA)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Bosque Redondo Memorial (Fort Sumner, NM)
Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, NC)
Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Ellis Island Immigration Museum (New York, NY)
Breakthrough, based in the United States and India, is a global human rights organization that uses the power of media and pop culture to advance equality and justice.
Interestingly, Breakthrough also created ICED: I Can End Deportation, the first 3D social change game, which has reached over 150,000 players. It will be interesting to see how many players America 2049 generates in its last 8 weeks of play.