Ok, wait? What kind of game is that? Maybe not that kind you are thinking of right now. Jump Arena appears to be an online game like many others on the market. You collect coins, And you can get addicted very easily.
Now imagine a matatu ride from Ruai to Nairobi town. You can easily get stuck for three hours until you reach your final destination. Now a lot of people spend their time playing around on their mobile phones. A lot even play games on their mobiles. But wih this game called Jump Arena, you will actually think that your ride wasn´t just a waste of time. Cause you will learn a lot in these three hours. Every time you fail!
A monkey that is addicted to trunks – and a gamer that becomes addicted to that monkey
So what is Jump Arena all about? The idea is simple: You see a monkey spinning on a trunk. Now you have to wait for the right moment until the monkey reaches the right ankle. Now tap. And the monkey jumps to the next trunk. And so you move from trunk to trunk. After a while you reach a new mission and the speed increases, the trunks are getting smaller. It´s not easy. And you will fall. But no worries, because you will not automatically lose, when you missed the right moment. And here comes the thing, that makes this game so special: Every time you fall, you´ll get a revival question on things regarding sexual education. Like “What does HIV stand for?”, “Aids inaweza spread kwa kushare sharp objects kama wembe?” or “Teaching the youth about sexual education only encourages them to have it more?” You always get the options to answer. Often “yes” or “no”. Do you know the answers to all of these questions? In total there are about 300 questions to answer.
From start to future
The founders Edwin, Haggai and Sam from fluidkenya.com just graduated from university. They love apps, programming and already designed a game before. A game just for fun, like all the others out there. But now they combine it with an educational approach and they want to reach further. Cause they also want to adapt Jump Arena for different educational purposes, not just but including Sexual and Reproductive Health related issues. One school already asked for an implementation of their curriculum. A partnership with a hospital is also planned, where you are asked specific questions on cancer. Haggai and Edwin, who are responsible for the Project Management and Marketing have different options in mind. Also regarding their business model as the old questions remains: How to make money out of something that is designed for the good purpose? The good thing that they got some starting support from the Iam-Initiative. Support means some funds to work with and a work desk with mentorship in the extraordinary workspace of Nailab, which is located at Ngong Road in Nairobi and already served as a fantastic incubator for other 2.0-Startups.
The thing with the money
The team of Fluidkenya will try different possibilities to get a sustainable income. One is the already mentioned cooperation with schools, that could have the game already installed when they give out laptops and tablets to their students. Another thing are In-App-Purchases. If you are tired of the monkey, you can also get a cheetah, a tiger or a lion. If you are earning a lot of experience points in the game, you have also access to them. But you can also take a shortcut and spend some small money.
Maybe the biggest impact, and this might really be something to learn from, is the idea of using billboards as real advertising in the game. The monkey is always on top of a street. While rotating on the trunk, you can spot some small billboards on the street, that the team could even increase in terms of size. In the future the team wants to approach companies to place their brands on the boards. The good thing is: You can always see them, but unlike popups, they are never disturbing.
Now try spinning that monkey and get him as far as you can. He will maybe not just give you a nice scorecard, he might also save your life.