Sunday, January 01, 2006

Win Superbowl Tickets and Fight World Hunger by Gaming


"Food Force" is the second most downloaded free Internet game following the US Army's recruiting tool: "American Army." The game was developed by the United Nations World Food Programme to spread awareness and change the attitudes of our children. This is how it is described by The International Herald Tribune:
The game is this: The fictional Indian Ocean island of Sheylan has been ravaged by drought and civil war; millions of people need food. The player joins a World Food Program team and must airdrop food from a C-130 Hercules; pilot a surveillance chopper; navigate a supply truck through land mines and guerrilla checkpoints; coordinate shipping and prices for rice, beans and oil on the world market; design a nutritionally balanced food package for the hungry; and use food to help rebuild a community.
The National Football League Players Association is even supporting the efforts of the WFP. They have promised to award a trip to the Superbowl to the child with the highest score.

This is one example of how video games can be used to create engaging and authentic learning environments for our children. The military has long used simulations and virtual reality to train their soldiers. Our classrooms may soon have a vast array of learning games to support their curricula. Can you imagine asking the school board for joysticks and gaming consoles? I can too.

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