At Islamic Relief UK, we have long recognised the need to better educate people about how foreign aid works. We also recognise that negative stereotypes about Muslims are rife across popular culture, including in gaming.
We decided to challenge this with a mobile game, Virtue Reality, which teaches users about foreign aid in a fun way, while presenting Muslims in a positive light. The game, developed by Ultimatum Games, is based on real-life international development projects run by Islamic Relief in some of the world's poorest countries. We saw the game as both a product in itself to promote, and also as a novel means of communication, allowing us to reach young people where they spend most of their time: on their phones. We launched the game at the National Videogame Museum, inviting schoolchildren to try it out, and secured coverage that reached more than 5.2 million people.