What's the Cheat Code for Middle East Peace?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Educational video games are nothing new... you can learn all about human interaction with the SIMS, engineer giant structures with Roller Coaster Tycoon, and even let games teach your kids how to read and do arithmetic. But what if you could actually learn how to save the world with a video game? Well, guess what? You can! Want to figure out how to feed zillions of starving refugees in Africa? Try the UN's game, Food Force. Want to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in Gaza? There's a game for that too, called Peacemaker. As much as I'm sure Mario wants to rescue the princess (whenever I play, she's always in another castle... dang it!), somehow these games seem a little more worthwhile. Still... do you want to learn from your video game, or do you want to just zone out? Does this make gaming like homework? And isn't it a little depressing if you lose?

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...and, though I've never played Peacemaker, what makes us think that the game designers KNOW how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in Gaza? And if they do, why are they wasting their time [no offense] coding video games? There's a lady by the name of Condoleezza downtown in Washington who'd like to meet ya!

Thos

Sent by Thos | 2:08 PM | 6-21-2007

Thos...I've often thought the same thing about the straight talkin' Dr. Phil. If he were any good at resolving conflict, wouldn't he go to the holy land and work things out with some folksy wisdom? Then he could move on to solve Iraq's Shiite and Sunni killfest.

Sent by Mike | 2:47 PM | 6-21-2007

Comments like Thos are indicative of voters today...they would rather be have simplistic ideas delivered to them by celebrity politicians.

With games like PeaceMaker and Dafur is Dying one can build understanding, empathy and maybe the foundation for critical thinking to help solve these issues.

It is tragic when people think deeply complex embedded problems should be solved as quickly as their hunger is in fast food eatery.

Government is not, nor should it ever be small, it is by definition over 300 million people large in the US and until the voters assume the responsibilities that are upon them to elect and hold accountable people that can actually are public servants instead of just pigs at the trough.....

Sent by Joe | 11:52 AM | 6-22-2007

It seems to me the purpose of the Peacemaker game is to educate the player(s) into the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian situation...as much as possible.

Of course, it is simplistic to think a game could "solve" an international problem, or a TV personality could. The point is that most of us don't actually know nor appreciate the Peacemaker world.
I would like to play this "game." And send one to Tony Blair also.

Sent by PD Budd | 8:20 AM | 7-18-2007