These Female Afghan Coders Created a Game About Saving Electricity
"More Attention" players unplug unncessary appliances to save energy.
After successfully launching 20 games for mobile and web platforms, one team of coders has developed a new game that challenges players to find and unplug household items using excessive amounts of electricity.
The game, called "More Attention," was developed by Kimia Azizi, Mahtab Habibi, Fatima Rezayee, Nasrin Wahidi, and Khaterah Faizmohammadi. It asks players to turn off electrical items that aren't being used (like lights) to save energy. But players lose points if essential appliances, like laundry machines or phone chargers, are unplugged.
The young women developed the game after participating in programs run by Code to Inspire, a nonprofit organization located in Herat, the third-largest city in the northwest of Afghanistan. The organization aims to foster women’s economic and social advancement through Afghanistan’s growing tech industry. Code to Inspire’s female coders are unique in Afghanistan — women account for just 16% of the country's workforce and 20% of university students.
Since the organization was founded by Fereshteh Forough in 2015, its programs’ participants have created games that range from educational to simply entertaining. Forough, who was born in Iran to an Afghan refugee family attended Herat University with an initial focus of literature, fell into computer science. She hopes other women will follow suit.
Read More: Meet Afghanistan's First Female Coders
"I really didn’t want to go to university and do [computer science], but then my parents said, ‘Just go, it’s a skill everyone’s looking for now,’” Forough said in an interview with Document Journal.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to give it a shot and stay for a few weeks.’ I ended up completing a degree in computer science,” she said.
Now, Code to Inspire's programs have empowered many more Afghan young women to pursue their dreams.
But these video games definitely aren’t the only cool feminist development to come out of Herat. Female rapper and activist Sonita Alizadeh rose to fame with her music video "Brides for Sale," in which she raps about girls being sold into marriage by their families. The powerful YouTube video has racked up more than 1 million views.
Inspiring developments like these highlight the truly innovative ways women in Afghanistan are building toward gender equality.
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