The conflict in Palestine has been made into a game, which aims to educate people on the conflict between Palestine and Israel, and why the problem just won't go away. Global Conflict: Palestine is set for release in 'early 2007' and centres on a young journalist who has arrived in Israel. You have an opportunity to look at the issues from 3 angles, a pro-Israeli angle, a pro-Palestinian angle and a balanced view. The player walks around a city which resembles Jerusalem and the surrounding area talking to people. As the conflict intensifies, however, the situation becomes increasingly complex and exposes some of the reasons for the ongoing violence.
This release follows MTV's Darfur is dying, a game which I have played a few times. In this game, you choose a character to try and get water, while hiding from the patrols. The first thing you learn is that you can't pick a 30 year old man to go and look for water, as he will most likely be killed by militia. When you get caught by the militia, it tells you what would happen in real life, i.e. women getting raped and abused, and the outcome for boys, girls. After this game was released, there were tens of thousands of people who wrote to politicians urging action on Darfur. It attempts to be a little hard-hitting, but it gets a message across, innocent people are dying in Sudan.
I'm not sure if the games get the necessary message across, as I am of the opinion that games will trivialise the conflicts involved. But I'm a news conscious person, with an interest in politics and none of these stories are news to me, however, the games are targeted at people who either have never heard about the conflicts or do not know the full extent of what is going on. And it would appear that Darfur is dying got the required respone, but then it was backed by the might of MTV (music channel), and it was free.
It remains to see if Global Conflict: Palestine will be free, and will haveÂ the desired impact, but I think that all in all, it's not a bad idea.