Five global organizations are coming together for the U Festival in Ethiopia to honor the World Interfaith Harmony Week, and one of the ways they hope to inspire acts of compassion and advance world peace is through games.
Compassion Games International has organized a week-long “coopetition,” a community engagement experience that invites people around the world to promote acts of compassion. Everyone is invited to participate in the offline games. The event takes place over seven days from February 1 to February 7, and contestants will log acts of kindness, compassion, and peace.
The acts in the World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition will be logged on the Compassion Games map, with groups and regions competing to get the highest marks on the leaderboard. The idea is to inspire collaborative acts of service and to strengthen mutual respect, understanding, and harmony between people of all backgrounds.
The five groups include Compassion Games International; Unity Earth, organizer of the U Day Festival in Ethiopia; the Peace Pledge Project; the Empowerment Institute; and 21st Century Leadership for Diversity.
The latter is a group of leaders in the video game and tech industries, dedicated to making the workforce more diverse.
“Part of Leadership for Diversity’s mission is to get us to look within, listen more, and to create a more diverse, equitable and compassionate industry; to create an environment where everyone feels safe to truly collaborate,” said Megan Gaiser, founder of 21st Century Leadership for Diversity, in an email. “By participating in Compassion Game’s ‘Best Game on Earth,’ it is our hope to mobilize leaders in our industry with a focus on actionable efforts we can all do.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan first proposed the World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN General Assembly in 2010. The UN unanimously adopted it and set the first week of February for the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
The Kickoff Event for the 2018 World Interfaith Harmony Week Compassion Games is the upcoming U Day Festival in Ethiopia that brings together global, spiritual and religious leaders with international change makers and musical artists. Mulatu Teshoe Wirtu, the president of Ethiopia, will commemorate the week.
Separately, Compassion Games has been honoring video game industry veterans for their contributions to diversity. Jon Ramer, founder of Compassion Games, passed a ceremonial torch to Gaiser last fall, and Gaiser passed the Compassion Torch to others at the recent Casual Connect USA event last week. I participated in one of the ceremonies and found it quite rewarding. The recipients included:
- Justin Berenbaum, Xsolla
- Fiona Cherbak, Sony Interactive Entertainment America
- Don Daglow, The Strong Museum of Play
- Carrie Dieterle, Insomniac Games
- Ed Fries, Board member and advisor
- Nicole Lazzaro, XEODesign
- Jen MacLean, International Game Developers Association and the IGDA Foundation
- Laralyn McWilliams, Skydance Interactive
- Wanda Meloni, M2 Insights, Gaming Business Review
- Elizabeth Olson, Strategic marketing, PR and business development consulting, L4D
- Robert Peloquin, Nielsen
- Leslie Pirritano, AMD
- Carl Quinton, Casual Games Association
- Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat
- Jessica Tams, Casual Games Association
- Belinda Van Sickle, GameDocs, Women in Games International
- Margaret Wallace, KijiCo
Amy Allison, FatDroid; WIGI
Brie Wendt, IGDA
Karen Clark, SkyDance