Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rated NV for NonViolent

Wired has an interesting story about a new video game that teaches the strategy of nonviolent political resistance.

A Force More Powerful is a new PC game from Maryland game developer BreakAway Games, inspired by 2000 PBS documentary on the history of nonviolent resistance. The game challenges players to lead successful and peaceful political movements from the ground up - putting you at the head of Ghandi's struggle for India's independence, the push for Civil Rights in the American South, or the pro-democracy protests in Serbia. You organize the speeches on college campuses, the sit ins, and the marches. You can even set up your own tense scenarios and experiment with different strategies to produce a peaceful outcome. (ex: So let's say my parents are the repressive regime, would a program of civil disobedience regarding the cleaning of my room lead to increased autonomy?)

A Force More Powerful is part of a growing sector in the video game market of serious educational simulation games, an area that includes military and even emergency room training games. The move to capitalize on the interactive possibilities of video game simulation is long overdue outside of the military realm, and the idea of a "SimPeace" game certainly pulls at the liberal heart strings.

The game's creators see the potential for A Force More Powerful to be used as an international training tool for peaceful conflict resolution - which is why the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict was involved in the development of the game.


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