The video game industry has been under a lot of pressure for the amount of violence in video games. Many parents, teachers, government authorities, and others argue that kids are learning to solve conflict through violence.
Yet, the Washington Post has released an article that shows how new video games are being released that try to demonstrate how to solve conflict peacefully. Carnegie Mellon University is working on an educational video game called PeaceMaker where players win by negotiating peace between the Isrealis and Palestinians. The United Nations’ World Food Program has recently released an online game where players must figure out how to feed thousands of people on an island (http://www.food-force.com/). The game has been downloaded two million times since it’s launch in the spring.
This weekend, the University of Southern California is having a competition where participators must develop a game that promotes international goodwill toward the United States. Also, MTV has announced a contest that has competitors think of a video game that fights genocide in Darfur, Sudan. There is a $50,000 prize to the people who come up with the best idea.
Games such as these seem like good ideas to promote awareness of global issues, but there is just one problem. Would you rather be making peace between Palestinians and Isrealis or battling Halo’s aliens? If these games can be made fun and rewarding, they stand a chance of making an impact, but no one plays a boring video game.