Can a Video Game Foster Peace?

Megan ShorePeacebuilding

It is the last week of April (2017), and it marks the International Games Week in Berlin Germany. As someone who has never really taken to playing video games, this really shouldn’t be of interest to me. But what is making news from Berlin and Games Week is one of the new indie, alternative games that are on display. It is called: “Fallen.” According to news reports, Fallen is “an anti-war experience based on a real battle in 2014 between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists over control of the Donetsk International Airport. The difference here is that each character who dies is based on a real victim and their background stories are revealed.” http://www.euronews.com/2017/04/28/the-pinball-machine-you-can-draw-and-an-anti-war-video-game

I am all for efforts to critique warfare and think about peacebuilding, and this fascinates me. Unfortunately there is nothing out yet on this video game. I guess I should be in Berlin at Games Week instead of London, England on my way back from the Society for the Study of Theology meeting. You can bet that as soon as this comes out to the public I will get my hands on this! I’m not sure how I would measure whether this video game can foster peace. But a minimum, it is bringing the discussion of experience of war to the forefront through the use of video games. I’m intrigued. Maybe I can even use it in my class and see what my students think. Stay tune for more thoughts on the power of video games in fostering peace!