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 Darfur is Dying...

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PostSubject: Darfur is Dying...   Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:39 pm

While I was searching for a media artifact online, I came across a game that people can play that shows and explains the crisis in Darfur. I found this to be a very interesting and it is put forth by MTV.

They are in partnership with Reebok Human Rights Foundation and the International Human Rights Group. “This is an unprecedented competition bringing together student technology and activism to help stop the genocide in Darfur.” I think this is a great way to bring people together for a cause like Darfur. We live in a technological age and it seems like every one plays video games today. The students that are responsible for this is Susana Ruiz, Ashley York, Mike Stein, Noah Keating, and Kellee Santiago from the University of Southern California.

“Darfur is Dying is a narrative-based stimulation where the user, from the perspective of a displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp. It offers a faint glimpse of what it’s like for more than 2.5 million who have been internally displaced by the crisis in Sudan.”

At this website, you can play the game and also get other information on the genocide. You can get facts on the genocide and help put a stop to it.

Here is the link. I think everyone needs to check this out and play.
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PostSubject: Re: Darfur is Dying...   Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:11 am

There is so much about this game that's worth noting .. first, did you notice that there are no players over age 30? I don't think it's about the demographic that would see something like this ... I think it has to do with the number of people who live past the age of 30 ...

In addition, what about the idea of a "game" to speak to the issue of genocide ... do you think it's a good idea or somewhat insensitive to the plight of the people of Darfur?
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PostSubject: Re: Darfur is Dying...   Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:49 pm

That is a really interesting observation. I actually went back to look at the ages and saw that no one was over the age of 30.

On the topic of insensitive... I see what you are saying. I guess it depends on how you look at it. I personally feel that we are in an age where video games consume so much of peoples time. I think this is a way to reach out to a different group of people. To those who do not play video games and do not like the idea of them this may very well be looked at as insensitive. An important issue such as Darfur should be reached out to as many people as possible to educate those of the horror of genocide.
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PostSubject: Re: Darfur is Dying...   Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:47 am

This game was intense! I felt nervous finding water and I was only playing the game. To actually experience that first hand would be frightening.
I think it would be a really interesting way to help show people, as an alternative source, who may not be interested in mainstream news outlets. By experiencing this game the player will be able to understand even fraction of what it must be like to live this life every day.
I think it is also important that the game gives informative facts about the currents situation. These facts in combination with your avatar bring the situation closer to home. By selecting an avatar it is almost as if you put a face to the victim and are able to see it as more realistic rather than another news story.
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PostSubject: Re: Darfur is Dying...   Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:15 pm

Reading this and seeing the game made me think about not only the severity of the conditions in Darfur, but the changing state of communication and connection within our modern world. I find it strange that people need such an intimate view into the lives of Darfur's people, searching for food, fighting for survival, to understand their plight or to spark activism and interest in today's "youth". The world that once sought information, sought education, is becoming one that is tricked into it through the ploy of entertainment, subliminal messages on TV, dramatization of reality, fun games about miserable situations.

I don't feel a game based on surviving a Jewish concentration camp would blow over as well... Beg for life from the Nazis! Evade the gas chamber! Don't get Dysentery! Try to say goodbye to your loved ones! ... I personally think its about time to stop sheltering our children. I don't think we need to scar them, tell them all the brutal details, but if we want real change, we must educate. If the child is old enough to play this game and learn about an incident like this, than educators and parents should take the initiative. Instead of providing the player is a "faint glimpse of what it’s like for more than 2.5 million who have been internally displaced by the crisis in Sudan.” We need to provide a clear picture. It is impossible to say how much of these facts are absorbed, or just considered part of the game.

How easy it would be to dismiss the troubling truth presented in the game, as fiction, as entertainment. I feel like to many, especially the youth, the information is so vast and unimaginable, it is hard to understand. Not to mention the desensitized state of our youth, who spend hours rampaging through a virtual world of looting, grand theft, murder... The message may be lost because most game players have probably seen as bad, if not worse already.

On the other hand, a strong message needs to be communicated in the language of its audience. I support the educational factor, but I do feel like society, elders have gotten lazy in telling their stories to the youth. I feel as though the implication of technology has smothered the human narrative, and provided us with a faint glimpse of life thus leaving the youth to come unprepared for the road that lies ahead... and history repeats...
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PostSubject: Re: Darfur is Dying...   Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:50 am

This was a very interesting way to educate people on the genocide happening in Darfur. The idea to use a video game concept to do the teaching is pretty smart because kroy stated above, we are living in a world where we play a lot of video games and this is a way to connect those people to a real life situation. One problem though I feel comes from this. From playing the game myself I feel depending on how old the person playing, their maturity level, and if they are taught about the situation may get the wrong idea about this game. I say this because even with all the facts it is still a game and video games even the ones based on true events like the Medal of Honor series are still fictional. People may not receive the true message of the rape and death and suffering these people go through when the game has a woman caught and then that is the end. People who are use to gaming might see this as gamish and not see the reality that the creators are trying to present. Because using video games as a teaching tool for genocide is still new people probably wont make the connection from a game to an actual crisis going on in the world, but it is definitely a starting point. Every other great idea had start at some point and they did not start perfect. This could turn into something really useful, a tool that is on the level of today's generation that could help teach like no other method.
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