The international video game industry had a turnover of 122.5 billion euros in 2018. For many, video games are just a hobby. That was the case of young Argentine Tomás Giovanetti until, in 2016, he decided to turn his love of gaming into a way to earn money from home and make a positive impact on society. That's how, at the age of 16, he created You Deserve, the first video game focused on raising awareness about bullying, which became one of the best-selling games on the Steam platform.
This success led to the creation of TGA, a company created by Giovanetti, a company dedicated to the development of corporate and social video games. Its goal is to create communication bridges and transmit content between companies, institutions, and their communities. The potential of his start-up to improve society through gamification has made Giovanetti one of MIT Technology Review in Spanish's Innovators under 35 Latin America.
In addition to providing entertainment, its games are intended to have a positive impact on the world. One example is Facundo Campazzo 'The Game', which in collaboration with the Argentine basketball player, encourages the collection of garbage on the court. The more waste collected, the more points users earn, and the more rewards they get, such as meeting the athlete in person. TGA has also developed a game that helps teach young people to lead a healthy life. In this way, Giovanetti tangibly improves public health, especially among the gamer community, whose activity is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
TGA also uses video games to empower workers through fun and competition. "[At TGA] we promote diversity and change the corporate culture through gaming so that companies accept different people," its creator explains.
Giovanetti's company already has a presence in seven countries and employs 50 people. It is now looking to "add value to the greatest number of customers, people, and communities," he says. "We want gaming to be seen not only as entertainment but as a tool that can make an impact on a global level," he adds. He hopes that TGA will also help to de-stigmatize the video game industry, which is often associated with violence, machismo and other negative values, by using video games as a tool to make the world a better place.
The CEO of Viktoys (Peru), co-founder of Fab Lab Peru and member of the Innovators under 35 Latin America 2020 jury, Víctor Freundt, thinks it is "interesting to see how gaming is being used as a way for large companies to engage with young audiences," and believes that Giovanetti's approach "should translate into an increase in product sales."