Game It Forward's upcoming trivia game for the iPad, Quingo, turns casual gaming into a charitable endeavor; through in-game ads and microtransactions, players can give to charity while they play.
We spoke with Game it Foward co-founder Morgan Belford during PAX Prime 2013 about Quingo, a combination of trivia and Bingo. Players select five answers to a general topic while trying to form a five-in-a-row combination. The game offers trivia in categories such as history, politics, media and sports. These questions are based on several parameters; they need to be general interest and include at least five correct answers. More adult topics, such as alcoholic beverages, are fine, but can't include anything inappropriate for kids. During our demo of the game, we answered questions on Kool-Aid flavors, sports that originated in Britain and characters from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Quingo currently features six different charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children's Hospital and PAWS. Each time players watch ads or make an in-app purchase, they contribute to that charity.
"There's a combination of forces that led us to the six that we have now," Belford said. "One is obviously the interest in the charity. The other is, since it's a general interest game with trivia, we felt that we wanted a broader appeal. So kids and animals and hunger. That helped us focus on the kinds of charities to start with even if it's not a nationally known name, you can say 'oh I can see this charity is giving clean water to India, and that's cool.'"
Belford said it's still unclear how much a single game will donate to any given charity, though it will be a small amount. Game It Forward currently plans to split its revenue with its charity partners at a rate of 10-30 percent. Rather than just donate a lump sum, however, players will work toward helping the charity reach a set goal.
"One thing we try to do is to make it transparent about how we're relating to the charities," Belford said. "At any given time, you're not just giving money to charities, but you're funding a specific project. Here's the project and how much each on is trying to raise ... That way you know it's a more concrete sense of what you're accomplishing. You know what you're helping with."
Quingo launches Sept. 19 for iPad. The company hopes to launch on other platforms eventually.
Correction: This article has been updated to clarify its release date and platform.