Video Game Developer
Role: CEO Junub Games
Location: Washington, D.C.
Race/Ethnicity: South Sudanese
Education: Self-taught game developer
About His Work: Lual mayen is a south Sudanese video game developer, founder and CEO of Junub games. As a newborn in his parents’ arms, Mayen endured a 225-mile trek from his war-torn home in South Sudan to a refugee camp in Northern Uganda. His two older sisters died from illness while making the journey. Though he was too young to remember them, he still finds ways to honor their memory. He is currently developing a peace-building game called Salaam, which is a high tension runner game that puts a player in the shoes of a refugee forced to flee a war torn region.
The character in Salaam is running from people trying to shoot and capture them and the players needs to keep their characters alive by getting them food, water, and medicine and eventually lead them to safe ground.
What makes "Salaam" (an Arabic word that means peace) more than just a game is Mayen's plan to partner with non-profits so that when players buy food, water and medicine in the game, they are actually buying those items for people in refugee camps.
Lual was born in South Sudan, but a growing civil war led his parents to take him and his siblings and flee to Uganda. He was then raised in a refugee camp in northern Uganda, where he spent over two decades of his life. Explore these resources to learn about topics related to refugees, asylum, migration and statelessness.
On this UNHCR Teaching About Refugees page you can find free-of-charge and adaptable UNHCR teaching materials
The Journey of a Refugee - Common Sense Education lesson plan
Learn about the growth of the video game industry