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Gaming for Peace and Justice
an article by Tony Dominski

Mike Musgrove, Staff Writer, recently reported in a Washington Post article on an encouraging new trend in Internet-based computer games. The games, usually focused on fantasy world quests, are now starting to address serious social issues as hunger, Mideast peace, and genocide.

For example the popular U.N. video game Food Force [] is based on a major food crisis in the fictitious island of Sheylan in the Indian Ocean. The game's object to step up the World Food Programme's presence there and feed millions of hungry people. The game has been downloaded 2 million times since its launch in the spring. Yahoo had to step in as a Web host for the game when swarms of Internet users converged on and accidentally knocked it off-line.

A team at Carnegie Mellon University is working on an educational computer game called PeaceMaker -- you win by negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Carnegie Mellon's project is led by an Israeli citizen named Asi Burak, who has sought input from both sides of the conflict for the game his team is building. "We want to prove that video games can be serious and deal with meaningful issues," said Burak, who will be lecturing about it at the Serious Games conference in Washington next month, a get-together dedicated to introducing game designers to potential clients interested in educational games.

In a similar vein, MTV has announced a $50,000 student contest [see their website] to come up with a video game that fights genocide in Darfur, Sudan. According to Stephen Friedman, general manager of an MTV channel shown on college campuses, "Activism needs to be rethought and reinvented with each generation," he said. "This is a generation that lives online -- what better way to have an effect?"


Question(s) related to this article:

Video and Internet Games, that teach the principles of a culture of peace

Video and Internet Games, that teach the principles of a culture of peace

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Latest reader comment:

CPNN has received the following request for a review of the Force More Powerful Computer game :

Sujet : [psysr-pe-announce] A Force More Powerful - Computer game
Date : 3/3/06 7:49:38 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Linden Nelson)
To: (

This looks good. I have ordered it, but have not yet received it. The resources on their web site would also probably be useful in teaching about nonviolence. If anyone has experienced this game and is willing to share a short review with this listserv, please let me know.

-Linden Nelson <>

This report was posted on November 18, 2005.