The UK company GameTheNews.net has offered a virtual trip to Uzbek cotton fields to find out how it is hard to pick cotton, especially for children.
“Every year people, including children, are forced into picking cotton in Uzbekistan. We then wear that cotton in our clothes. How hard is the work?” says the foreword to the game created by GameTheNews.net.
Players are asked to pick 50 kilos of cotton which is an average daily rate, which people, even young pickers, are forced to reach in Uzbekistan.
In order to pick, click on “Pick cotton” and every click will make a bag by 10 or 15 grams heavier.
After several minutes of repeated clicks your finger will get tired and the game becomes boring.
The game creators made it possible to stop the picking at any minute by clicking on the button reading “Alright, I’ve had enough”.
At the same time, information will be displayed on the screen that the player fulfilled, for example, 98% of the daily rate and a note will appear reading: “It’s OK for you, quitting isn’t a luxury these kids have!”
GameTheNews.net calls itself a news organisation but responds to events, or reporting news through computer games.
According to a spokesperson of the company, Thomas Rawling, an article
in The Guardian newspaper prompted them to create the computer game about the exploitation of children in the Uzbek cotton industry.
I have seen the article on The Guardian and thought that it would be interesting to use the game form to demonstrate how it is hard to do this job, especially for children, Rawling said.
The main purpose of the game is to allow a player to finish it at any time, but children in Uzbekistan do not have this opportunity, Rawling said.
The game’s authors said that their audience includes young people from all over the world who are advanced users of computer and Internet technologies.