GAME DEVELOPER AND DESIGNER Lual Mayen
Lual Mayen (born in Aswa, South Sudan, based in Washington, D.C.) is a self-taught game designer who uses his own experience as a refugee from South Sudan to design immersive gaming and digital tools to generate educational experiences and social impact. Mayen fled the civil war in South Sudan when he was two, and for the next 22 years, lived in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. After coming across a laptop at a refugee camp registration centre, he told his mother of his desire to own a computer three years later she saved enough money to purchase him one. Mayen became determined to create a game that could inspire peace and promote empathy for refugees. His first project as founder of Junub Games was Salaam (an Arabic word that means peace), which focused on protecting communities from being destroyed. He was named a Global Gaming Citizen in 2018 in recognition of his work to promote positivity and community and was named a CNN Champion for Change in 2020.