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#6391535 Jul 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM · Edited 10 years ago
61 Posts
Hi All:

After getting the 14 year old girl captured, I managed to get water twice with the 13 year old.

I actually tried to water the crops in the camp, but they dried up soon after I poured on the water. I could only water about 3 crop fields before I have to run for my life for water again.

Yeah, I think the point of this game is that for people of Darfur, the quest for survival is almost a futile task, unless the world intervenes to save them. I certainly had a sobering experience playing the game through. I didn't leave me with a very good feeling since last night (when I first started playing it). I tried the game twice, and I'm still not feeling good.

This game is really depressing, but I would definitely ask students to play this game and write a reflective piece on what the main argument of the game is.

The end screenshot certainly conveys the game's main argument that the US must take action to assist in the survival of the Darfur People.

See screenshot here:

I think it's a very powerful game that satisfies the "Big G" game requirements that a game should address the worldly concerns outside of itself, according to Dr. James Paul Gee:

"Jim Gee's June 20th Keynote from Games for Change"

Mind Erasure (aka Sherry Jones)
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#6396737 Jul 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM
82 Posts
This is a really terrific post, very thoughtful and helpful. Will you assign it to students, including the reflection piece?

I have a question, and I think it might be a really tough one. I'll start by noting that I've seen Darfur is Dying described as a game that inspires empathy, which is not wrong, and as you clearly showed here, it's also a game that has a specific political outcome in mind: US intervention in Darfur.

Okay, now let me attempt the question. How do things like empathy and activism result from a game? What's the idea? Are players supposed to call their Congressperson? Are they supposed to get on a plane with water or money? We know this game is pretty viral, and that it has been around for a few years. But the US has not intervened in Darfur. So is this game successful, and if not, why not? What would have to happen for it to succeed?

I'd love to know how games might stimulate political activism. Does anyone know? My current thinking is that while games might help produce more knowledgeable and moral citizens, that is a fairly different outcome than direct action of the kind Darfur is Dying advocates for.

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
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