A game is an opportunity to focus our energy,
with relentless optimism,
at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy.
In other words,
gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.
Reality Is Broken:
Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
Regardless of how you feel about video games in general, kids (and adults) love ’em, and with this one you can throw your support behind a good cause.
Sidekick Cycle is from the Global Gaming Initiative, a company that incentivizes charitable micro giving: helping to raise awareness of economic and social issues through fun video games. 50% of the proceeds from Sidekick Cycle sales go to World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit group that gives rugged, locally assembled bikes to students, disaster victims and healthcare workers in Africa. These bikes aren’t just an opportunity for healthy fun; they can ensure a kid attends school every day.
With every 387 downloads of Sidekick Cycle— available for just 99 cents in the app store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch— GGI purchases one bicycle for a child in an impoverished community. (It’s a universal app that is GameCenter enabled. An Android version will be available this fall.)
I’m already sold at this point, because it’s a dollar donation to get kids on bikes and in school.
Oh! But you get a game too!
Basically Sidekick Cycle is a downhill biking game, whizzing at “vertigo-inducing” top speed over hazardous terrain in Africa and North America; you have to stick tricks and flips (earning bonus points and coins to spend on upgrades) while delivering bikes to kids in need. There are over 30 tracks/levels, with more on the way.
Bikes can be customized with Sidekick companion animals; each of these has its own special ability, so you can mix and match different powers for varying “powered up” play. Bikes themselves can also be customized with gear for a uniquely sweet, sweet ride.
I have to say that I’ve always liked driving games and the wipeout factor of a bike game sounds fun. This sounds like a good way for Cass to pass the time while we’re waiting for a table or at the doctor… while driving home how great bikes are and how they can make a difference.
I’ll have her try it out and report back on how she likes it— but really for a dollar it’s a good buy however you look at it.