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Gaming for Change
Micki Krimmel, 27 Mar 06

In the same vein as Sarah’s recent post, Wired News points out two new competitions for game developers with a mission to use their powers for good. The first comes from a partnership between the USC Annenberg School for Communication and The State Department. The Reinventing Public Diplomacy Through Games Competition seeks to improve America’s reputation abroad. To compete, game designers must create or modify an existing massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) “incorporating the fundamental characteristics of public diplomacy.”

Early research has confirmed that within these spaces, there is a unique opportunity to create, foster and sustain intercultural dialogue and that perception of national values, ideals, and character are both reinforced and altered by the real time interactions that occur in these spaces. – from uscpublicdiplomacy.com.

The second contest mentioned in the article is mtvU’s Darfur Digital Activist competition. The contest drew 12 viral video game submissions to spread the word about genocide in Sudan. Voting is now closed but you can still play the 4 finalist games on the website. The winning game (to be announced soon) will receive completion funds and be launched to the public this Spring.

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