There are many ways to get people involved with cannabis reform – but one thing that has not been approached until recently is the concept of a video game that promotes the ideas of decriminalization and legalization. Hemp Inc. is a smartphone game, offered through the Google Play and Apple IOS stores for free, where people can build their own “hempire” within the virtual world – and while they play, people will be able to support the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (aka NORML).
In the game, the player will start out growing weed in their garage and building up a clientele and improving their standing within the community. As they progress, they will be able to upgrade their garage grow and eventually open a proper dispensary once they are able to implement decriminalization. The game focuses a lot on the business properties of cannabis, such as supply and demand, and encourages you to learn in the same way real business owners have to.
“I do intend for this game to communicate and send a message,” said veteran game developer Danny Hammett of HKA Digital Studios. Hammett helped develop the Tony Hawk and Call of Duty franchises while at Activision.
Along with growing and selling cannabis, players will get to interact with well-known cannabis celebrities who are often featured in cannabis publications, including Tommy Chong and Wiz Khalifa. Together, these are great ways to get cannabis activists (and even some who are merely interested in the business and almost Sims-style gameplay) to engage in something that will actually benefit cannabis reform.
There are NORML banners within the game which will take you to a petition hosted by the group, and the game itself supports the organization as well. The game is free to download and play – however, like most mobile games there are downloadable extras (including the celebs and other upgrades) that are available for a premium price tag. Higher levels and future updates will also bring more realistic issues such as taxation, politics, and zoning issues (among other things) that real cannabusinesses are faced with.
If you’re into mobile games, and you want to support NORML, then you may want to check out Hemp Inc. as an easy and fun way to contribute to marijuana reform.