Would you be concerned if you were to learn that there is an effort to indoctrinate young gamers into a progressive and revolutionary agenda using video gaming? Leaving no stone unturned when it comes to indoctrination, this is just one more tool in the progressive tech toolbox. It is imperative that we be aware of how this is happening and who is behind it.
The idea is introduced on the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM) site, the same site that has recently been revealed as a key player in helping to coordinate revolution in the Middle East with their sponsors such as Google, Twitter and the U.S. State Department. AYM recently posted a piece on their site called “Can a Video Game Teach the Kind of Nonviolent Protest Practiced by Tunisians and Egyptians?” Back in November, they had introduced this concept in another piece entitled, “Saving the World One Game at a Time."
In explaining the move to develop these kinds of games, Brannon Cullum of AYM states:
In the past few years, however, a new trend has been emerging around the development of online games for social change. Social entrepreneurs and issue-driven organizations are creating and hosting online games to engage supporters of all ages, with aims of raising awareness about sociopolitical issues and current events, building communities, and teaching new skills.
She gives us links and an overview of the work being done at Games For Change, described as follows:
One of the leaders in this field is New York-based Games for Change, a nonprofit focused on digital games for social change that “seeks to harness the extraordinary power of digital games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, education, human rights, global conflict, and climate change.” Their annual festival brings together leaders from NGOs and nonprofits, government agencies, academics, and members of the gaming industry to share their experiences and discuss new trends.
On the surface, this sounds like the typical progressive speak, but well meaning as described. However, when exploring the Games For Change site, it is easy to see that the agenda is clear. For example, here are some of the games you can play right from their site:
Global Conflicts: Palestine- Global Conflicts: Palestine is a 3D role-playing game for players to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They will be confronted with issues around human rights, terrorism and the media’s role in conflict zones and will experience situations taken from real life events that are more complicated than outsiders may realise.
Homeland Guantanamos- is a game designed to spotlight the inhumane conditions faced by 300,000 people in immigrant detention as a result of unfair DHS policies. Players assume the role of an undercover journalist who must uncover the true story of an immigrant who died in ICE custody under questionable circumstances.
People Power:The Game of Civil Resistance- People Power is about politics, strategy and social change. As a leader of a popular movement you fight against tough adversaries who control the police, the army, the bureaucracy, even the media. The only weapons in your hand are your strategic skill and your ingenuity.
September 12th - A Toy World- Highly controversial at its launch in 2003, September 12th’s describes the post 9-11 world. Created by a team of Uruguayan game developers lead by a former CNN journalist, this game virally exposed the futility of the US-led War on Terror.
The Cat and the Coup- The Cat and the Coup is a documentary game in which you play as the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran (1951-1953) who was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA. Players go back through major events in his life in reverse chronological order, in a world filled with clever visual metaphors, to gain a new perspective about what events led to his downfall.
Wildfire- Winner of the 2010 Microsoft Imagine Cup, Wildfire focuses on addressing all of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Also linked from Games For Change is the game developed by the World Bank Institute, “Urgent Evoke”. According to their numbers, EVOKE attracted more than 19,000 players and social innovators from 150 countries. World Bank appears to be very much involved in the use of gaming for their brand of “social change”, as evidenced by their current Apps For Development Challenge. The Apps for Development Challenge requires the inclusion of at least one of the UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MGD):
Applications submitted to the Competition should address at least one of the following objectives:
World Bank has an entire page of resource links for those taking the challenge, including links to the United Nations MDG database, the United Nations Development Program, the International Monetary Fund, the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many more. (See link for specifics.)
Working with the World Bank is leading game designer and Berkeley grad Jane McGonigal, PhD. Jane is enthusiastic about social gaming and the possibilities for helping gamers learn to feel more empowered in working for social change in the "real" world as a result of playing these types of games. AYM’s latest piece describes her latest inspiration:
At the Dice Summit video game conference held earlier this month, McGonigal pitched an idea for a new game: “Civ D”—short for civil disobedience—“the first AAA game about surviving a peaceful revolution” (AAA refers to the quality of the game; AAA is the highest quality). Her idea was sparked after seeing the leaflets that were being distributed to Egyptians last month with tactical and practical advice for confronting riot police. McGonigal noticed that the contents of the “How To Protest Intelligently” action plan resembled the instructions for completing tasks in a video game, telling the summit’s audience, “If you look at them, it’s really quite conducive to game as scenarios.”
Reviewing the players and game themes involved, it does not seem like much of a stretch to see what is at work behind this effort. Even as it is pitched as nonviolent and compassionate, it is clear that the recent protests in the Middle East are far from that. It is also clear that there are powerful global forces interested in using this as one more way of achieving an agenda, as made crystal clear in the World Bank challenge. Now is the time for people to look beyond the surface and learn exactly who is manipulating us and why.
Michelle Horstman is a small business owner, artist and mother of three in Texas. Michelle also writes for NewsRealBlog and her personal blog can be found at Benfranklinslepthere.blogspot.com.
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