18.10.06

Game on?

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 haveƂ the desired impact, but I think that all in all, it's not a bad idea.

4 comments:

  1. The conditions in Sudan are terrible.
    I hardley think making a video game about it will help any.

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  2. Let's just hope it get's the message across as well as Darfur Is Dying or even better.

    Is there a way we can increase awareness and get Fortune 500 companies to support the game as well as put pressure on their governments to act?

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  3. I never knew about the darfur game...i felt a bit shocked reading the post and though i feel that games are probably not the best medium..it shows the state of todays world,where it takes a game to stir the politically capable people into action as a result of the mtv generation putting pressure...surely it does show the absolutely appalling state of humanity today....why have a UN or any of the big super-powers/developed countries as well as the rest of the world....after all the debt relief to africa..it would be helpful if the people are around to experience a decent life!! Darfur has dragged on for months...and somehow world has forgotten and moved on despite efforts by news agencies to bring it back to the fore ...have we become so cold and morose to the ails of our fellow man??

    As for the Palestine issue, if 2000 odd years of violence and rage can somehow be sorted out by a video game , I am all for it...i reckon the politicians have tried their bit...maybe its time the common man got involved and got things rolling...

    "The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity." George Bernard Shaw...and he got it absolutely right..and we call ourselves advanced and top of the food chain! But lets try and change things...i will end with a hopeful and positive quote from one of my idols

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." M.K.Gandhi..

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  4. Well said guys.

    The purpose of the game is to educate people about what is going on, I don't think it's meant to solve the problem, but what it does is to make people aware of the situation. People who were playing 'Darfur is Dying' said that while playing, they suddenly realised "Hey, this is real, for someone out there, this is no game !!". That is what spurred many of them to action, many people who, had never heard about it, and couldn't point out Africa on a map, yet alone, Sudan. There was an episode on ER about it as well, to raise awareness.

    It's time we took our politicians to task about these issues, and press them to act !!

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