Photo Credit: Faces of Mano de Leon

While many Facebook users while away the hours on the social network playing games, some fanatical gamers are truly changing the world with the time they spend doing so. A Better World, created by digital entertainment company ToonUps, is a free Facebook game in which players are rewarded for doing good for other players. A Valentine’s Day promotion in the game encouraged players to send virtual hearts to their Facebook friends. In exchange for them doing so, ToonUps worked with the Integral Heart Foundation to provide solar panel systems to two schools (in the physical world) in remote Guatemala.

The solar systems were donated to the Mano De Leon School and to Panorama Kindergarten, providing much-needed electric power for the teachers and students. One of the schools, Mano De Leon, has never had electricity before but is now getting to use solar-powered interior lighting for up to 11 hours a day. ToonUps provided the funding for the project and Integral Heart did the installation.

A Better World is a free game in which players create their own characters and exist within a virtual world where “real world causes are impacted.” The game is “taking cause gaming to a new level by having game play impact and blend into the real world,” said MarySue Hansell, president and COO of ToonUps.

The Integral Heart Foundation is currently working in Guatemala to overcome poverty and increase access to education. ToonUps is aiming to bring “Cause Gaming” to a wider audience in order to provide more support for charitable causes.