Lual Mayen, a South Sudanese developer and founder of Junub Games, a company dedicated to creating games that bring social change, will be speaking about one of the three key challenges MATTER addresses, which is the finding that the next generation doesn’t have the necessary problem-solving, critical thinking, and continuous learning skills that will allow them to compete in a technology-driven world.
Lual was born in South Sudan but fled the area due to war and settled in a Northern Uganda refugee camp. While in the camp, Lual taught himself how to use computers and later developed his first peacebuilding video game. Lual is passionate about developing and making games that help to promote peace in the community, and specifically in his home country, South Sudan.
Currently a visiting scholar at American University Game Lab, Lual was also recognized at the Game Awards as the “Global Gaming Citizen” by Facebook Gaming and The Game Awards, for using games to bring about social change. He became 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 scholars; is featured on BBC News, Al Jazeera News, Gamasutra, and VOA News, and the organizer of the first-ever global game jam in South Sudan.
Lual is currently building a VR experience that helps a player think critically about their behavior before picking up a gun for war. The game shows the player how small behaviors and choices can have devastating and lasting consequences, as well as helps the player practice and experience how to avoid the path of war and violence in resolving a conflict.