EVOKE -- an online 'serious game' utilizing a variety of social media tools and narrative approaches commonly found in video games -- is designed to empower young people all over the world to start solving urgent social problems like hunger, poverty, disease, conflict, climate change, sustainable energy, health care, education, and human rights. It is meant to encourage young people to collaborate with each other, across the world, to develop real world ideas to address these challenges.
EVOKE initially emerged from discussions with universities in Africa who wanted to find avenues to encourage their students to engage in local communities and develop innovative solutions to local development challenges. The universities were searching for ways to engage students in real world problems and to develop capacities for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial action that many believe will be the engine for job creation now and in the future.
EVOKE was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, with funding from the Korean ICT trust fund at the World Bank, and was directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal.
The first version of EVOKE -- Urgent EVOKE -- was "a ten-week crash course in changing the world". The goal of the social network game was to support social innovation among young people in Africa and around the world.
The game’s first season -- free to play and open to anyone, anywhere -- began on March 3, 2010 and ended on May 12th, 2010. EVOKE has garnered numerous accolades and awards for its innovative approach to engaging with youth utilizing social media and videogaming approaches, including being named 'top social impact game of the year' for 2010 by Games For Change.
For more information on the first season of EVOKE, please see the project web site and/or read one of the related posts on the World Bank EduTech blog:
You may also wish to read the EVOKE: Project Evaluation paper [in PDF].
The second iteration of EVOKE -- Equipe Evoke -- is currently in beta testing, and is scheduled to launch in September 2012. It has a particular focus on Brazil, and will be fully bilingual (Portuguese and English) and playable via PC or mobile phone.