Song worked with Gerando Falcões to develop an immersive game in the metaverse called “Favela X, the game.” The goal of the game was to give the country’s youth a chance to experience life in a favela, rather than just observe it from the outside. Ideally, this would give them a unique perspective on poverty that could inform their worldview into adulthood.
The team created key visuals in-house but built the game itself within an open-source metaverse platform called Roblox, one of the world’s largest online gaming communities that is completely free to join and download.
In the game, hosted by an avatar-version of Edu Lyra, players explore a six-floor rocket ship placed in the middle of a digital favela. On each floor, they navigate challenges associated with poverty: infrastructure, sanitation, education, culture and technology. On the final floor they reach a control room where they can use what they learned to help improve the favela’s conditions. If they make the right choices, they can send the rocket ship (and poverty) to space.
But how does a free game raise money? Accenture connected with other purpose-driven brands to support and co-create the project and showcase their brands inside the game. The team partnered with Nestlé, 99 (a Brazilian taxi e-hailing app) and the shoe brand Havaianas to build in-game brand experiences. For example, Havaianas has a line of flip flops designed by favela artists and gamers discover those artists’ stories throughout the virtual experience.
To launch the game, the team placed a huge, inflated rocket in a Brazilian favela equipped with computers and phones for children to test drive the virtual rocket and provide real-time feedback. This gave the children exposure to new technology, as well as a new perspective about the reality of their favela and the changes that can improve it.