The Cleveland-based social enterprise led by startup founder and CEO, Justin Bastian, is working with leaders of activism and industry to unite DR Congo's voice, culture, and history with interactive storytelling and empowered online gaming community.
“We are all connected to Congo’s conflict, poverty, and mass atrocities,” said Justin Bastian, Founder and CEO. “Our pop-culture electronics (cell phones, game consoles, PC’s, cameras, etc.) contain conflict minerals extracted through the corrupt exploitation of Congo’s mineral wealth, government, and people. I see this crisis in our world and believe gamers like myself can help solve it. With U.S. elections in November and Congo's elections in December, a lot of people are thinking about democracy right now. Socent Studios is thinking a lot about a type of interactive e-democracy where educated and inspired players can use their passion for gaming to impact geopolitical landscapes in significant ways."
Sorg Pursa has agreed to serve as Socent Studios’ investment syndicate leader. Sorg’s co-manager and Socent senior advisor, Morgan Darwin, is a VC/PE-backed backed CEO and a 22-year veteran of the U.S. military, who has spent much of his adult life working in Africa, Asia and Europe on infrastructure development projects. Morgan and Justin will work closely to mitigate venture risks, establish the terms and conditions of future fundraising rounds, and aid in developing new investor relations for Socent Studios.
"Socent’s ‘World Game’ creates a unique business opportunity to utilize evolving technologies and the increasing integration of gaming in our everyday lives, to advance awareness and non-violent social activity for global good,” said Morgan Darwin, Socent Member and Syndicate Leader. “I'm very excited to support Justin and the early-stage team he has assembled, on this impactful mission."
Socent Studios’ Angel raise also includes, Matt Mondero, Impact Investor, long-time senior leader of the scientifically recognized online gaming community, the Division IGR and co-author of its community constitution. In addition to operations leadership and prosocial community development, Matt worked closely with Justin at his previous game development startup to achieve key milestones and create a community-organized Kickstarter campaign. Their campaign raised a total of $320k and produced a "highest voted" game prototype released to STEAM Early Access. Matt will work closely with Justin to develop Socent’s founding community design, software vision, and online gaming community.
"I am honored to be a part of Socent Studios and to stand in solidarity with leaders of Congo’s struggle for peace,” said Matthew Mondero, Socent Member and Humanitarian Creative. “Building an educated, inspired, and empowered online community is critical to the success of our mission. Through The Deadliest War: A World Game for Peace, we have an opportunity to share Congo's story, beauty, and hope with millions of gamers around the world and equip passionate gamers (conflict electronics consumers) with the power to peacefully end our planet’s deadliest conflict. We are very excited to show the world how our impact game can achieve this.”
Financed by Socent Studios, Justin will be lead into eastern Congo by award-winning Congo documentarian and creator of 'When Elephant's Fight', Mike Ramsdell, in an effort to gain the critical project support of Congo's prominent peace, Civil Society, and conservation leaders in the first quarter of 2017.
Socent Studios is the Cleveland based social enterprise creating interactive transmedia to educate, inspire and mobilize millions toward durable impact in the world.