Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Play video games.

I don't think I've played a video game since Atari tennis, but they've improved dramatically since Atari and I know there are many others who really enjoy them. Some of these programers and gamers are interested in social change as well, and they've combined their skills and interests to create games for change. Check out some of these games:

* PeaceMaker allows you to "experience the joy of bringing peace to the Middle East or the agony of plunging the region into disaster." It is available in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Asaf Lubin of Israel writes "I played the game all night last night and found it brilliant and thought-provoking. The concept is of sheer genius and the execution was professional and creative... simply out of this world" and Terry Bowers of the US adds "(My son) has learned more about the conflicts that have been plaguing the Middle East in three hours than I have been able to teach him in many years."

* A Force More Powerful – the Game of Nonviolent Strategy is "the first and only interactive teaching tool in the field of nonviolent conflict." Red Herring writes “It’s like political jujitsu.”

* Climate Challenge is "a game where you are president of the European Nations. You must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office."

* Darfur is Dying, from MTV, is "is a viral video game for change that provides a window into the experience of the 2.5 million refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan. Players must keep their refugee camp functioning in the face of possible attack by Janjaweed militias."

* Pax Warrior is an "interactive documentary" that "weaves the tragic story of the UN experience in Rwanda placing the user, first person, in the shoes of a UN Commander trying to maintain peace." They need beta testers!

* Food Force, from the World Food Programme, presents this scenario: "A major crisis has developed in the Indian Ocean, on the island of Sheylan. We’re sending in a new team to step up the World Food Programme’s presence there and help feed millions of hungry people."

* Re-Mission was developed for young people with cancer. "Players pilot a nanobot named Roxxi as she travels through the bodies of fictional cancer patients destroying cancer cells, battling bacterial infections, and managing side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatment."

* Ayiti: The Cost of Life help the player answer the question "What is it like to live in poverty, struggling every day to stay healthy, keep out of debt, and get educated?" It's a project of Microsoft and Unicef.

Many of these games include resources to help you make a real world difference in the situations on which the games are modeled. And player can enjoy gaming while they learn skills and information that is useful away from the screen. So click over, download, and play some video games for fun and a better future. Enjoy!

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone." -Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president (1890-1969)


Karama said...

Happy Birthday, Mommy! March forth! :)

tv antenna said...

Very interesting post I stumbled on here. I am a very big video game fan, and it's nice to see games that have "morals" to them... check out the "McDonald's Video Game" while you're at it, and maybe you can add that to your list as well :)
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Anonymous said...

great finds....i must share:o)