World Peace Might Happen Because The Government Is Investing In Video Games
Finally some dang good news. World peace might actually have a chance because for once politicians are investing in children and the future of the world. Besides just trolling the worst president, the U.S. state department occasionally does some pretty cool things. Partnering with Games for Change and three other nations, Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, they’re actually doing something to promote understanding between the next generation of leaders slash game developers.
More than 90% of kids in the United States play video games, a fact that you’re probably aware of if you’ve been to a family party in the past five years and your little cousins rush to leave the table to play Fortnite as soon as grandpa falls asleep holding his wine glass. The program is called Game Exchange and it’s meant to foster lasting connections between kids in the U.S. and kids in the Middle East and Northern Africa, through designing video games.
Students have been working together to design video games with their counterparts in other countries, learning coding and game design along the way. Through virtual meeting sessions, individual and collaborative work, and guided mentorship from specially trained teachers, the students managed to make a ton of games. The program lasted for 10 weeks and led to the creation of 170 new, socially impactful video games designed by students. Kids chosen for the program from the U.S. were from predominantly underserved communities and all the games were required to be themed around important social issues like climate change and sustainability.
The initiative just completed its first full school year as reported by the Washington Post. Like all good video game sequels, the next round is going to be bigger and better. More students, smoothed out communication sessions, and the inclusion of a special advisor whose expertise is cross-cultural understanding will make the second year of the program even more impactful for students. Games for Change, who partnered with the state department for the initiative is an educational and socially conscious organization promoting positive change through games. They even have a ton of free games you can play on their website, that’s a social contribution we can all get behind.