23 July 2006

Saving the world, one video game at a time [New York Times]

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Madrid game
Video games have long entertained users by immersing them in fantasy worlds full of dragons or spaceships. But Peacemaker, a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is part of a new generation: games that immerse people in the real world, full of real-time political crises. And the games’ designers aren’t just selling a voyeuristic thrill. Games, they argue, can be more than just mindless fun, they can be a medium for change.

Games are uniquely good at teaching people how complex systems work. Video games also possess a persuasive element that is missing from books or movies: They let the player become a different person (at least for an hour or two), and see the world from a new perspective.

Featured games:

  • Peacemaker (a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict)
  • Food Force (a UN released game that helps people understand the difficulties of dispensing aid to war zones)
  • A Force More Powerful (a game to teach the methods of influencing or changing the political environment using nonviolent methods)
  • Darfur is Dying (a narrative based simulation about surviving in a Darfur refugee camp)
  • September 12 (a simple game to explore some aspects of the war on terror
  • Madrid (a newsgame about the 3/11 terrorist attacks in Spain)

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2 February 2016
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In an unassuming research lab, Volkswagen is solving problems that Tesla and Google haven't come close to cracking. Cliff Kuang reports for Fast Company. In his article he features the work of Brian Lathrop, who runs …
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