An Indian matchmaking site is looking to bring attention to the danger illegal dowries pose for women in South Asian countries with a new Facebook game, “Angry Brides.”
In the spoof of the ever-popular “Angry Birds,” instead of launching birds into cyber space, gamers are hurling household objects, like frying pans, hairbrushes and shoes.
As players hit their target — a groom, of course — they score points to add to their “anti-dowry fund.”
A dowry, usually a large sum of money, property or expensive jewelry, is traditionally given to a groom by his bride’s family. The custom is supposed to ensure the bride will be taken care of.
Instead, it can spark extreme violence against brides, according to the website, Shaadi.com. The groom’s family might demand more money, or assault the bride if the dowry isn’t deemed large enough.
In some cases, a bride may be doused with kerosene and set on fire, a murder known as a “stove burning,” Reuters reports.
Shaadi.com vice president Ram Bhamidi said the company hopes the game will alert people of the violence dowries can trigger.
“The Angry Brides game is our way of throwing a spotlight on the nuisance of the dowry,” she wrote on the website’s Facebook page.
There is a dowry-related death every four hours in India, according to the website.
Since the game launched last week, its yielded more than 270,000 “likes” on Facebook, and they’re not all from “angry brides,” Bhamidi said.
“Both men and women seem to be playing it.”
Dowry-giving was outlawed more than five decades ago, but is still widely practiced in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.