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Food for thought: UN releases video game

Who says video games are bad for you? The United Nations has just launched a game aimed at teaching children about how to get food to the site of a humanitarian crisis.

    by
  • CNET Australia staff

Who says video games are bad for you? The United Nations has just launched a game aimed at teaching children about how to get food to the site of a humanitarian crisis.

Food Force, which is available for free for PC and Mac, is a six level game which blends action and strategy elements to teach players the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis. Players will have to fly planes to deliver food drops, scout devastated areas to determine where resources are needed, guide food trucks through obstacles such as debris and rebel troops, negotiate with rebels, and more.

The game is set on a fictitious island called Sheylan which has been struck by drought and war. To underline the game's main objectives of teaching children about global hunger and the UN's World Food Programme's (WFP) efforts to fight it, each mission begins with a briefing on the task ahead by a member of the Food Force team of virtual aid workers. It is followed by feedback on the player's performance and an educational video filmed on the frontlines of WFP's work in the field.

Neil Gallagher, WFP's Director of Communications, said using technology like video games was vital to reach today's children. "We believe that Food Force will generate kids' interest and understanding about hunger, which kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined," he said.

Food Force can be downloaded free from www.food-force.com. You'll need a broadband connection, though, as the PC version is 227MB while the Mac version is 198MB.

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