It's impossible to imagine the ordeals refugees go through. But can we at least get a sense? Lual Mayen, who fled South Sudan's civil war and learned to code in a refugee camp, is bringing us a step closer.
His game Salaam, the Arabic greeting meaning peace, allows users who've never had to flee a war-torn country take a virtual trek to a “peaceful environment”. Of course, only if they can dodge hostile troops and find enough food and water.
The game is free to play, but players can make in-app purchases that will go to real-life refugees. “Salaam is going to be the first-ever game that is going to bridge the virtual world and the reality on the ground,” Mayen told World Economic Forum. “When someone buys food in the game, you’re actually buying someone in a refugee camp food.”
“A lot of people don’t understand the journey of a refugee,” said Mayen, 25, who spent his first 22 years in a refugee camp in northern Uganda before moving to the US.