Junub Games uses gaming to build bridges between communities and enhance peaceful behavior. Internationally, over 2.2 billion people play video games, with 42% of these on mobile devices.Studies have shown that exposure to prosocial video games predicts subsequent prosocial behavior, and a change in video-game use from violent to prosocial will significantly affect change in helping, and this relationship is mediated by a change in empathy. As such, Junub Games has developed video games, board games and playing cards to promote unity and combat sectarianism in a country shaken by the recent two-year civil war, as well as legacies of violence from the decades-long civil war which ended in 2005. The games are translated into local languages, and distributed across the country, including to IDPs and to refugees living in neighboring countries. Junub games launched its first product called Salam ‘peace’ which is available for Android devices with the support of Amazon and has over 3000 downloads. In the game, users race to destroy bombs in the air before they can harm people on the ground. Success is rewarded by a message congratulating the player on saving lives. The organization has also produced a similar board game called Wahda ‘Unity’, which has already been distributed in Nyumazi camp in Adjumani and Rhino Camp, with plans for distribution in more refugee camps in northern Uganda as well as IDP sites across South Sudan. These two games will encourage unity and a sense of togetherness in the players, and enhance positive behavior towards peace.
“Gamification” appears to be an effective teaching tool- a means of communicating knowledge, and training. It is even used by companies and large corporations to train employees in new procedures and policies. So, why wouldn’t games be similarly useful in implementing and conveying ways of peaceful coexistence?
True peace is built over time, with many different processes and approaches that move conflict into lasting, peaceful relationships. It requires action at many different levels, by different people, in different ways, and at different points in a conflict. Even if the internationally-supported peace agreement can be effectively implemented, social reconciliation will require a long-term process to address the civil war legacy of mistrust, as well as the new scars which have resulted from the recent war: gross violations of human rights, a massive humanitarian crisis.
Junub Games is a game developing company founded originally back in 2016 by Lual Mayen in South Sudan, moving a couple of years later to the United States.
The idea comes from creating different kind of video games for children that help them learn and practice different kind of habits to build and understand the importance of peace in current world state.
Lual Mayen background
Luan Mayen is currently the CEO of the company Junub Games LLC and founder of the Lual Mayen Foundation.
Back in 2017, Lual Mayen has moved to the United States where we initiated the company officially and once for all. Signing a partnership with Unity Technologies, a game engine maker, cooperating together to create a tech centre for refugees at the camp in Uganda, where he grew up.
Mayen believe in human talent. No matter who you are or where you live, not matter if you are a refugee or living in a well-developed country, we can all contribute something to the world. We all have a purpose and simply refugees have a purpose. You simply have to love creating games and, more than that, love giving back to the community.