Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gaming for change

Getting your message across is like getting Australia's Murray-Darling River to flow – there are so many competing issues across many organisations and media. To cut through, advocacy groups are turning to online games. Mcvideogame was created to show all of McDonald’s alleged dirty secrets – the game includes taking the cows to slaughter and force feeding them GM foods. Disaffected! puts the player in the role of employees forced to serve customers under the dire circumstances apparently common to a Kinko’s copy store. Australia has the awful ability to boast one of the first racist online games, called Cronulla First, promoted by the fascist Australia First Party. What will be next? Maybe “Dodge the Drought”, where city slickers can save their virtual farm. Or maybe “Boiler Suit Larry” where Australians race to dig up and export precious metals and minerals from around the country to keep the economy on track. Game play can be a good way to help people understand the complexities of economic and social systems so no doubt there is more to come.

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