iBeg: Mobile game that simulates being homeless in Vancouver

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iBeg homeless Vancouver game

iBeg is a mobile game that simulates the life of a homeless person living on the streets of Vancouver. I bet you didn’t see a game like that coming to your Android or Apple device. 

Players will step into the shoes of a homeless avatar and have to beg for money in order to survive. The premise is really quite simple and the developers hope is that the game will raise awareness of the issue in our city, as well as around the world, and also provide a means for players to support organizations that help the homeless. The expected release date is Spring 2013, but they need your help to make this a reality. They’ve launched a Kickstarter program to help fund the game development. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lastpickproductions/ibeg-a-game-for-social-change

The following is a list of features you can look forward to seeing in iBeg:

  • Play as a homeless avatar whose environment is the harsh city streets of Vancouver, BC
  • Keep yourself happy, healthy, and clean, the most basic of human needs
  • Real-time day/night cycle, complete with random events
  • Weather systems: rain, sun and snow
  • Vibrant city with unique locations and characters from all walks of life
  • Skill system that allows you to level up your street abilities, increasing their proficiency
  • Earn money from a variety of activities, including panhandling, busking, collecting cans, and doing odd jobs
  • Unlock more content by saving up your hard earned coins, or purchase in-game currency for an instant boost
  • Customize and improve your homeless person’s shelter and lifestyle, as you work towards getting him off of the streets
  • Real world impact – in-game purchases go towards helping real people dealing with homelessness.

This video explains it in more detail.

The game was conceived by Chris Worboys in January 2012.  He felt moved to create a game on the issue of homelessness, having witnessed many representatives of Vancouver’s homeless population during his daily commute.  Inspired to build a new experience for the mobile gamers of today, he developed an idea where players would be put in the shoes of someone down on their luck, so they could experience the struggles of life on the streets.  Chris approached two coworkers with the concept, and soon gained a programmer and an artist to bring the game to life.

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