Apocalypse now: computer games either a positive or negative force for social change

A computer game for the end timesJust in time for 6/06/06, here’s this post on computer gaming armageddon.

Computer games can provide a powerful medium for promoting positive social change, influencing public opinion, and raising cultural awareness, as I have discussed before on this blog (here and here).

While many such games serve beneficial (or at least benign) ends, some teach a very different lesson.

Into the first category fall two games described recently on ICT for Peacebuilding, an intelligently written and intellectually engaging ADR blog and one of my favorite reads on the Internet.

One such game is Third World Farmer which introduces players to the hardships and tragedy faced by farmers in the developing world. The second, from this post on global warming, is Climate Game, created to educate youth about the realities and dangers of climate change.

Promoting a very different kind of social change, however, comes the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a “Christian” game about the end times which pits “believers” (i.e. the forces of Good–that’s capitalized, of course) in an apocalyptic (literally) military battle-to-the-death against the Antichrist (who heads up the “Global Community Peacekeepers”–hey, who knew that peace was a tool of the Devil?) together with armies of nonbelievers and sinners.

(Thanks to Objective Justice for this link.)

One response to “Apocalypse now: computer games either a positive or negative force for social change

  1. Sanjana Hattotuwa

    Thanks for those comments about my blog ! Your post inspired me to write http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2006/06/09/shades-of-gray-not-good-vs-evil/ – where I explore why games such as the one you point to here don’t really help in conflict transformation.Warm regards,Sanjana Hattotuwa