Yesterday, Haaretz newspaper did a promo of the new PeaceMaker Game released by the Peres Center for Peace. It was included in the (left-wing) paper and is being sold from the game’s website for $19.95.
Funny anecdote: My husband decided to buy the paper to get the game, and it took him 5 Jerusalem makolets until he finally reached one that sold Haaretz; says something about this neighborhood, doesn’t it?
The motto of the game is: “Play the news. Solve the puzzle.” That’s pretty much what it’s about: solving a strategic puzzle, essentially getting your ratings – as a world leader (of your choice) – to be 100% good with both the Palestinians and Israelis. That sounds politics to me, not really conflict resolution. More of a short term thing and a game centered around displaying the hardships of a world leader embroiled in conflict.
That’s ok, it’s just not really about making what I perceive as Shimon Peres’ perception of ‘peace’, which is a long-term situation. But I think creating a video game, that is not really superficial and actually very realistic and educational – is a great way to create a little contact between people without getting them in the same room. Of course, it can only do as much you let it and it is not an apology to any side.
The game includes real news shots from suicide bombings and Army operations. The graphics are impressive. It’s quite a detailed game and my husband played three times within an hour and a half. You have to complete four milestones to end the game. Hubby managed to do it playing both the Palestinian President and the Israeli Prime Minister – not bad, eh?
In summary, it’s mainly a game about negotiation and a peek into what it’s like to be a world leader. In the age of Second Life and The Sims, this was a creative move on the part of the Peres Center.
For some more screenshots of the game, take a look below. For fun, I played as the Israeli Prime Minister in the Arabic version and the Palestinian President in Hebrew:
Game menu (You can pick which language to play in, Arabic, Hebrew or English. It would be cool if they could stats).
Player menu (Are you playing as a Israeli leader, Palestinian leader or world leader?)