Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I really appreciate the friends in my life, who know my heart and do what they can to inspire, enable and equip me to live out the passions God has placed within me.  A great friend, is someone who desires to see you fulfill the plans and purposes God has for you.  To that end, a friend posted a link on my Facebook wall to a new online initiative called "EVOKE".  I had never heard of this site, and at first glance thought it was some online 1st person game (I am not generally a fan of video games or comic books) but as I researched it more, I became increasingly intrigued. EVOKE is a ten-week crash course in changing the world. It is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere. The goal of the social network game is to help empower people all over the world, and especially young people in Africa, to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems.That was enough to cause me to sign up and now I wait with anxious anticipation to be approved.

I looked up the definition of EVOKE and it means to summon into action - as Christians we are called to action. An action to love others, an action to stand up for justice, an action to care for the oppressed, and marginalized.   There are two verses that stand out to me, as I think of the word evoke; the first is my favourite verse from 1 John 3:18 - "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth"  the second from James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Sometimes it seems we know all to well what we ought to do, but are paralyzed in not quite knowing how to go about doing it, or even how to begin.  While I do not think this is Christian based initiative (as if that should be a precursor for getting involved in something good), it appears to provide, those with a desire to  put their love in action; to serve; to meet the needs of the poor and oppressed, the opportunity to learn how to best to do so. If nothing else it is a good place to gain knowledge of the needs in our world and how we might play our part, living out the commands God has given us.

It is obvious from the interface this is marketed to a younger under 30 crowd, their suggested age is 13+, though they say they expect most of the users to be of university age. From first glance, I believe this online game developed by world reknown game designer Jane McGonigal (Yes she is a woman) and produced by the World Bank Institute, has the potential to increase awareness, educate, equip and enable individuals all around the world to make a difference.  Not only that but it is an interesting, engaging and interactive forum.  It is intriguing that it says that what you will experience is not a simulation, instead you are provided real problems to tackle, things like Food security; Energy; Water security; Disaster relief; Poverty; Pandemic; Education; Global conflict and Human rights.  You  are challenged to establish innovative, creative solutions with the resources you have available. It may require you to get as many people involved as possible and take a risk, as you come up with new ideas to change a life, and  the world as you meet the practical needs of those who suffer.

Let me share a little of what I have discovered so far, the "EVOKE" challenge runs from March 3rd May 12th.  The three objectives of each weekly mission you receive are to LEARN, ACT & IMAGINE.  There are rewards, for your efforts including mentorship, travel scholarships and seed funding.

I have included the Evoke trailer below and would encourage you to check out their website, and consider taking the EVOKE challenge yourself.  I am not sure what to expect as of yet but I am interested in taking the challenge myself! 

EVOKE trailer (a new online game) from Alchemy on Vimeo.

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