red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

Food Force

a non-violent video game teaches about global hunger

 

If you prefer your learning packaged with fun, instead of those discomforting and painful "lessons," a downloadable video game from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) fills the bill. The Food Force website shows three intrepid travelers ready to do their Indiana Jones best.

As described by Tina Rosenberg in a New York Times review, "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."

But the Food Force website provides more than just a passing download. You can learn more about the real issues of global hunger — and actions you and your friends can take to help alleviate the problems. Teacher guides and classroom resources are also available, as are interactive maps, news links, and other resources.

Food Force looks to be one of the most positive ways for gamers to encounter both virtual and the real worlds. Learn and have fun at the same time?! Radical.

 

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