Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Role Playing (Games) Games

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72

destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @02:19AM (#31758350)

    I wanted to check it out for myself, so I clicked on the link in the summary. Alas, I was sent to a rather luridly written piece by a one "Surfdaddy Orca", which I was certainly not looking for.
    Thus, I have googled it for you, dear reader, and thus present without (much) further ado ... the link to the Evoke game's website itself!

  • Re:Nnnnnnno. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @05:23AM (#31758972)

    Ignoring the issue of "poverty"--just because they don't live like us doesn't mean it's a problem.

    Poverty in this case means starvation and death rather than not having a Wii.

    Also education: exactly why do you need Western education to farm? But I digress.

    Because farming requires education. Otherwise the farmers use slash and burn tactic which cause irreparable long term damage to their own land. It also allows for an infrastructure to be maintained, a proper government to exist, provided basic knowledge of medicine (ie: condoms bloody work), a working democratic process and so on.

    Trying to fix the "problems" without going for the true underlying causes is how you end up with the shit hole that exists there today. Why do you think the place is such a mess and wasn't two centuries ago?

    What you see now is exactly what happens when YOUR solution is used. What do you think the colonial powers did? They run the government, built infrastructure, provided food and so on. Then they left and the uneducated masses did exactly what uneducated masses do. The useful cultural traditions (ie: farming, government, etc.) were gone and the remaining ones were a menace. Having eight kids works great when seven of them die by age 10 but doesn't work when 7 of them live to puberty due to modern-ish medicine.

    Not to mention that the fastest way to increase your standard of living is to have someone else pay for it. China knows exactly what it's doing and it's reaping the rewards quite nicely.

  • Solve them? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kuukai ( 865890 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @06:13AM (#31759184) Journal
    Video game designers have a hard enough time creating hunger, disease, and poverty. At least realistically. You don't see part of Liberty City get poorer as drug lords thrive. You don't see the bums lunge at the hot dog carts. In X zombie game you don't see the virus spread through an un-inoculated population.

    Maybe that's why the game looks a lot more like a comic book with a bulletin board system...
  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2010 @09:10AM (#31760110) Journal

    Except for the part where the game designer gets to choose how the "subtle issues" are connected in a "complex interconnected system", I am sure you are right.

    Take that stupid "kill the terrorist and make more terrorists" game. The group that made said game had an agenda and the rules of their game did not conform to reality but rather to their agenda. Their game ignored the fact that terrorists kill people, so the terrorists in the game never formed their own group of enemies.

    Your post should be:

    Games can be propaganda for an opinion of an issue, but not a solution.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?