Bill Gates wants you to play virtual hide-and-seek to celebrate lifesaving innovations

Microsoft founder, philanthropist and hide-and-seek advocate, Bill Gates.
Image: OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Long before Bill Gates made loads of money off Microsoft or set out to change the world with his foundation, he was probably just a boy playing hide-and-seek.

Now, the noted philanthropist wants you to join him for a virtual throwback round of the childhood game. And it’s all an effort to celebrate the impact of life-altering social innovation.

In a recent blog post titled “Hidden in Plain Sight,” Gates challenges readers to learn about the overlooked contributions of simple innovations by playing a VR game of hide-and-seek. Through a 360-degree video on YouTube, players are dropped into various locations around Africa to spot innovations increasing health, nutrition, and access to economic opportunities across the continent.

But the innovations may not be what you expect, like a simple bag of flour or a pocket-sized pill case. Even Gates’ beloved chickens make an appearance.

“By nearly every measure, the world is a better place to live than ever before,” Gates writes in his post. “Global poverty is going down, childhood deaths continue to drop, and literacy rates and women’s empowerment are improving. And yet, many people think the world is falling apart.”

Through the VR game, Gates challenges that assumption by showing simple innovations that don’t get enough credit for changing and saving lives.

It’s more than just a fun game. It’s an eye-opening, immersive look at low-tech inventions and their importance.

“If you dont expect to see change,” Gates writes, “you wont look for it.”

WATCH: Meet the innovative milk bucket backed by Bill Gates

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