Islamic Relief UK launches game to tackle negative stereotypes of Muslims

Virtue Reality, available as an app on Apple and Google devices, also teaches people how international aid works

Islamic Relief UK has launched a free game to teach people how international aid works and to tackle negative stereotypes of Muslims.

Virtue Reality is based on actual development projects run by Islamic Relief in more than 40 countries.

Players, who can download the game as an app on Apple and Google devices, have to complete 14 projects, such as building a micro dam in Mali and a shelter in Pakistan.

It is predominantly an awareness-raising initiative, but in-app purchases are available.

The launch is also timed to coincide with Charity Week, Islamic Relief UK's annual fundraising campaign among Muslim students, which begins on Monday.

Judith Escribano, head of communications at Islamic Relief UK, said: "We see Virtue Reality as a solution to two challenges presented by society: scepticism of aid and increasing Islamophobia.

"There is increased scepticism towards the charity sector. People often do not understand that the work carried out by organisations such as Islamic Relief involves working with local people in poor countries to help lift themselves out of poverty.

"This game will teach both children and adults about the process of delivering aid and how the money donated is used. It will also show Muslims doing good deeds."

The game, which was developed in partnership with the video games development company Ultimatum Games, was due to be launched at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield.

Escribano said the charity was unable to reveal how much the project cost because it would breach commercial confidentiality.

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