UPDATE 11/01/2021: With the week now over, we’re pleased to announce that the initiative raised nearly $4,000 for FareShare!
ORIGINAL STORY: Launched at the end of 2020, our game Teacher Simulator has already proven to be a massive hit.
Taking players into the virtual classroom, at a time when real schools here in the UK are shut as part of latest lockdown measures, Teacher Simulator is a light-hearted take on school life that has been downloaded more than 6.5 million times.
Partly inspired by our team’s own experiences of school (though we’d like to place on record that none of our real-life teachers ever broke up a fight with the aid of a fire extinguisher), it’s a game that’s primarily about the everyday classroom minutiae: cleaning the board, marking test papers, posing questions to the class and making sure that students aren’t copying one another’s work.
It’s this happy reflection of typical schooling that has resonated so much with players, but it’s come in a period when experiences in and out of school for many children have been far from typical, with the challenges they face very real indeed.
Like many, we at Kwalee became aware of the charity FareShare thanks to the campaigning of ambassador Marcus Rashford around the issue of access to free school meals. It’s an issue that garnered much deserved attention, with Rashford and FareShare winning considerable policy breakthroughs, but it’s a symptom of the broader matter of food poverty against which the fight continues.
We want to be a part of that fight. That’s why this week (ending 10th of January), the first week back to schoolwork for Britain’s kids as the latest lockdown restricts them to remote learning, every penny of UK profit generated from ads and in-app purchases in Teacher Simulator will fund FareShare’s amazing work to combat child food poverty.
This means that if you’re in the UK and you watch an ad or spend money on in-app purchases in Teacher Simulator during this week, you’ll be helping FareShare to bring much-needed meals to vulnerable people in what’s set to be a very tough winter for many.
“We’re huge admirers of Marcus Rashford’s campaigning and strongly believe in the work done by FareShare,” says our CEO David Darling. “Now more than ever, as the country enters another testing lockdown, no child should have to go hungry. With Teacher Simulator having been such a success for its cheerful depiction of school life, we want to do our bit to support those for whom that is not necessarily the reality – especially with the added strain of remote schooling on kids and families.”
Head of Development Simon Platt, one of those who conceptualised the game, agrees that it is the perfect vehicle for us to show our support for FareShare: “Teacher Simulator was partly inspired by our own experiences at school, from the mundane to the bizarre. These were largely fond memories for us, fortunately, but no child should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from when they should be learning and playing, whether in or out of the classroom.”
The support has been welcomed by FareShare, as its Winter pledge drive continues, with Commercial Director Alyson Walsh adding: “After a year where understanding the importance of school-aged children receiving nutritious food has come under the spotlight, we are extremely grateful to Kwalee for donating 100% of UK profits from their Teacher Simulator game as children return to remote schooling. FareShare’s work with Breakfast, After School and Holiday Clubs each year help vulnerable children access the food they need to learn, grow and thrive.”
Seeing the brilliant response to Teacher Simulator so far has been a massive source of pride for us, with the title having ranked as a top-3 game in countries including USA and the UK, but we’re even more proud now that we’re using its success to help those most in need this Winter. If you are able to, we hope you’ll consider helping out too.