Eastern Carolina grandmother creates video game where objective is to spread love

GRIMESLAND, N.C. (WITN) – Video games are a popular pastime for millions of Americans, but we’ve all heard about parents concerned about them being too violent.

Now, an Eastern Carolina woman is changing the game.

Aigul Aubanova says she was inspired to create the game “1001 Hugs” by her grandson. The main objective of the game is to spread some love.

Aubanova has been developing games for more than 30 years, but it was just three years ago when the Grimesland grandmother started her current mission.

“Give [an] alternative to the violence with the hugging, with the animation of something good,” Aubanova said about the motivation of the project.

In 2019, Aubanova launched “1001 Hugs,” but, its release wasn’t exactly well-received.

“Half a year later, we published the game. It was ‘1001 Hugs’ but with kids, and then I received a lot of criticism and not just critique, but something like attack,” Aubanova said.

Aubanova went back to the drawing board for a Christmas version, which launched in August.

Throughout the game, players shoot teddy bears at elves. And when they land a hit, they get a hug.

Unlike the original version of the game, Aubanova says the feedback of this one has been more positive.

“Parents and some bloggers, they do admit that this is like something that is deserving to be played,” Aubanova said.

Now, newly inspired, the gaming granny hopes to launch another version for Easter.

However, she hopes to fund the project through Kickstarter, which will also allow the public to pitch their creative suggestions.

“Promoting in the new version for backers who do kickstart is that the people will be able to either contribute their artwork or their children’s artwork,” Victor Dull, said co-creator of the game said.

You can play “1001 Hugs” for free on the steam gaming site.

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