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Videogames and peaceful behaviour (whut?)

by Stephanie Duchenne (Panda McBearface)  Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 1:45:55 PM

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After reading about 50 million arguments about how videogames cause violent behaviour over the past couple of weeks, I am able to tell you that videogames do cause violent behaviour because if I have to see anything else connecting those two variables I will cheerfully stab my own eyes out with a rusty spoon.

Despite all the inconclusive conclusive conclusions I have reached about the matter in the above paragraph, I thought that perhaps it was time to look at how videogames might influence good behaviour in an article especially for you to tl;dr.

Thanks to gamasutra.com, I stumbled upon a little organisation called Games for Change (G4C) which makes videogames that (as the name suggests) strives to create changes in our social fabric by using PC games to educate and inform gamers, hopefully inspiring them to become little political activists and whatnot.

The thing that I found most surprising about their games is that people seem to actually find them sort of fun, ordinary people like you and me; not just the vegans and religious nuts. In reviewing G4C’s Peacemaker Blog Critics states:

speed.jpg

When I read about the plot of the role-playing game Peacemaker, it immediately sounded like a good game. Instead of wreaking havoc and shooting things up for points, you are instead charged with the task of striking balance and creating peace. The game takes place in the midst of the real-life Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Given the choice to either lead the people of Israel or Palestine, players are thrust into the mist of civil unrest and every decision is met with a positive or negative response.

Peacemaker uses clips from real news reports about the conflict as historical background and although it may not have enormous mass-market appeal, one thing the game does do is teach people to walk a mile in another’s shoes. Gamasutra.com, speaking to Impact games (under the umbrella of G4C) co-president, Asi Burak about Peacemaker:

Israel's Peres Center For Peace purchased some 100,000 copies -- 80,000 of which were handed out for free with newspapers in both Israel and Palestine. Burak experienced the feeling of people in both nations understanding and appreciating the objective of PeaceMaker and using that opportunity to further dialog.

PeaceMaker-Screenshot_3.jpg

It’s obviously very unrealistic to expect a game to bring all conflict to an end. But a realistic game such as this brings an almost personalised version of political events into your own home, which would hopefully make understanding and compassion flow through your very veins, even if there is not always a way to become directly involved in political situations. I can’t conclusively say that videogames directly influence good behaviour, but as G.I Joe says:

“Knowing is half the battle.”

And now my srs is finished, please have this funny Youtube clip because lol:

 

Stephanie's Twitter | MWEB GameZone

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd




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speed.jpg  PeaceMaker-Screenshot_3.jpg 

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