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Old 02-05-2007, 11:17 PM   #1
SilentScope001
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Peacemaker: A Video Game to Promote Peace

I just download a new political simulator called "Peacemaker", which basically allow you to play as either the leader of Palestine or Israel and try to negogiate a peaceful solution to this problem. You must find a way to solve the problems and come up with a compromise that will make both parties happy. It is a "pro-peace" game.

It is somewhat fun, altough it is on the pricey side ($20!), and I have to say that this simulation is a bit too optimistic on chances of peace. It does help you understand more about the problems in the Israeli-Palestinan conflict, and it is developed by both Palestinans and Israelis, so you got something that is nonpartisian.

Here is the url.

http://www.peacemakergame.com/

I'm wondering of constranting it to Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator , another game set in the Middle East, but presents a far more sober view and focuses more on the warfare, and veers in a bit of a pemmesitic territory.


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Old 02-06-2007, 01:08 AM   #2
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no thanks, but for the record I am an Israeli sympathizer.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:34 AM   #3
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Wot? No playable demo?!


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Old 02-06-2007, 03:35 AM   #4
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does it have guns?!?


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Old 02-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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pemmesitic?

You mean pessimistic? wow... never had to spell that one before. lol thank you Firefox error checker. :3
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountVerilucus
no thanks, but for the record I am an Israeli sympathizer.
Not to start an argument, but why? (if you don't want to explain it in here then PM me if you want, I'm pro-Palestinian btw)

It goes to show that real life can learn a lot from video games lol, I still don't understand how there can be peace there with the Israelis, they're as corrupt and power hungry as any other Western government, but they're backed by religious fanatics and fight religious fanatics, not a good combination...



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Old 02-06-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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To me this is pointless. I play games soley for fun, not for education.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #8
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To me this is pointless. I play games soley for fun, not for education.
Agreed, I'm not going on the link because i'll never forgive myself.

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Old 02-06-2007, 02:39 PM   #9
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I don't see why a game should not have a message in the same way that books, paintings, pieces of music, sculpture, films, et al. have messages.

But somehow I don't see this thing taking off...Just as good news doesn't sell newspapers, so peace doesn't make a good game, IMO.



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Old 02-06-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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Well it gets my vote... as one of the most boring games of all time. I don't understand why anyone would buy that game. You can tell it was a student idea.


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Old 02-06-2007, 03:46 PM   #11
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Well it gets my vote... as one of the most boring games of all time. I don't understand why anyone would buy that game. You can tell it was a student idea.
Lmao, yeah those students think they can change the world by sitting on their behinds coming up with s*** like that...



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Old 02-06-2007, 04:01 PM   #12
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I find it slightly curious how some people quickly form a negative opinion about a game they have never played and know next to nothing about, and assertively proclaim it to be a piece of crap.

Over all the game sounds like an interesting deviation from the normal concepts most games of that type use (war and conflicts). It's probably a bit too serious for most people wanting some fun in their spare time, since it's more relaxing to kill monsters than solve world problems. (Sadly our culture worships violence and sees it as an integral part of entertainment.)

It will probably find a bigger audience among educational gamers. Schools seem to use games to an increasing degree, and I can imagine this would fit right in there.

Last edited by stoffe; 02-06-2007 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:13 PM   #13
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I think that would be the only place where that game might be useful...Because like you said, no one wants to come home from work or school, watch the news and the actually PLAY the news...I also don't think it should be called a "game", since it's nothing close to it really, maybe call it "educational software"



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Old 02-06-2007, 04:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
I find it slightly curious how some people quickly form a negative opinion about a game they have never played and know next to nothing about, and assertively proclaim it to be a piece of crap.

Over all the game sounds like an interesting deviation from the normal concepts most games of that type use (war and conflicts). It's probably a bit too serious for most people seeking entertainment on their spare time, since it's more relaxing to kill monsters than solve world problems.

It will probably find a bigger audience among educational gamers. Schools seem to use games to an increasing degree, and I can imagine this would fit right in there.
Agreed.

Unfortunately, the emboldened part I think will be key to the game's success or failure...



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Old 02-06-2007, 05:16 PM   #15
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From the developers

I enjoyed the discussion, guys. Just to balance some of the harsh criticism I would like to provide two quotes of veteran game designers from the last days:

Ernest Adams says on Gamasutra:

“PeaceMaker is fun - challenging, tense at times, and extremely well-presented. But it's also an important game with the potential to enlighten people about one of the great issues of our time. That's a noble goal and one to which I would like to see more designers aspire…

The only other political computer game I've ever played that had this level of subtlety was Balance of Power, which I consider one of the greatest games ever made”

Raph Koster, former CCO of Sony says:

“… different classic games: Balance of Power vs. Hidden Agenda. The fact that we only have three significant games in this genre in 17 years is a little depressing”.

And I agree with Stoffe: play the game and then bash us!

I am sure that SimCity had to deal with the same perception issues when it came out. Let's make video games a mature and dominant media, not narrow it down and call whatever is out of the known scope "an educational software"...
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:13 PM   #16
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I cannot fathom why people say it's educational. Is that the sort of thing you come home after a hard day of work and say to your kids.. "Ok kids, lets teach you how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!" No, and if you truly believe that the harsh reality of a brutal, religeon based conflict is something designed for someone under 18 then you need your head examined. Adults are usually either savvy in this area of the news or Do not want to know.

This may not have much of a point to anyone but i disagree with the product in question. It is not educational and it's not a game. It's a here-and-now equivalent of a Holodeck program. I think if anyone really does want to "Achieve the maximum score of 100 and make one a Nobel Prize Winner" then they should get out there and actually see this conflict firsthand instead of indulging in some ultimately fruitless fantasy.


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Old 02-06-2007, 07:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Lmao, yeah those students think they can change the world by sitting on their behinds coming up with s*** like that...
eh, a guy who went to Lincoln University (My town) made the Hapland series of games, and that changed the world. Who can say they're happy without hapland?



rhetorical question.


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Old 02-06-2007, 10:24 PM   #18
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I shall address your question here Negative Sun, I want people to know. You have to look at the history of the people (Jews). Everywhere they go, they are oppressed and put down. It's amazing how they were able to survive.

They bought most of those lands in Palestine, unified, then just declared independence. The moment independence was declared, the Arab nations descended upon them and tried to obliterate them. Everybody thought they were going to lose, but still, Israelis pulled through. Then the Arabs tried to gang up on them again in the 60's, but still Israel beat back their offensive and went on the offensive themselves.

The fight for their independence and survival is just amazing. What do you think Iran or the majority of those countries in the middle east would have done if they had gotten nukes before Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that they would have tried to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They did try to, remember. I am a firm believer that Israel is the greatest and most powerful nation in the middle east. They have no choice but to remain strong all the time, and they know that from numerous past experiences.

The Palestinian parliament has a terrorist organization in power, that does not sit with me well. I have much sympathy for the Palestinians, but if I had to pick a side, it would be Israel.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
Over all the game sounds like an interesting deviation from the normal concepts most games of that type use (war and conflicts). It's probably a bit too serious for most people wanting some fun in their spare time, since it's more relaxing to kill monsters than solve world problems. (Sadly our culture worships violence and sees it as an integral part of entertainment.)
I agree with you stoffe, but the point is not about the game itself and it's contents. I would have loved to try it out, but the point is, you have to pay for the game (and such a hefty price, too) without even being able to see a playable demo, or a trial or something. I bet a lot of opinions would have been reversed if only they had a demo up for download.


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Old 02-07-2007, 01:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbieZ
I cannot fathom why people say it's educational. Is that the sort of thing you come home after a hard day of work and say to your kids.. "Ok kids, lets teach you how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!" No, and if you truly believe that the harsh reality of a brutal, religeon based conflict is something designed for someone under 18 then you need your head examined. Adults are usually either savvy in this area of the news or Do not want to know.
The intention is perhaps not to "teach the kids how to solve the conflict", but rather let them understand more about it by trying a leadership role for themselves and by understanding cause and effect relations. An interactive experience could be more effective than TV news, don't you think? And you will be surprised how many people (kids and adults) are not savvy, they DO want to know more, but have no way to really achieve that by the endless cycle of news reports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbieZ
This may not have much of a point to anyone but i disagree with the product in question. It is not educational and it's not a game. It's a here-and-now equivalent of a Holodeck program. I think if anyone really does want to "Achieve the maximum score of 100 and make one a Nobel Prize Winner" then they should get out there and actually see this conflict firsthand instead of indulging in some ultimately fruitless fantasy.
If this is true then there is no use in reading non-fiction books or watching documentaries about current events. A serious video game could just provide another perspective into it, celebrating the strengths of our media. In general, I am surprised to see the resistance of hard-core gamers as this can only help video games in getting accepted and not criticized by senators as "the new epidemic".
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
I shall address your question here Negative Sun, I want people to know. You have to look at the history of the people (Jews). Everywhere they go, they are oppressed and put down. It's amazing how they were able to survive.

They bought most of those lands in Palestine, unified, then just declared independence. The moment independence was declared, the Arab nations descended upon them and tried to obliterate them. Everybody thought they were going to lose, but still, Israelis pulled through. Then the Arabs tried to gang up on them again in the 60's, but still Israel beat back their offensive and went on the offensive themselves.

The fight for their independence and survival is just amazing. What do you think Iran or the majority of those countries in the middle east would have done if they had gotten nukes before Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that they would have tried to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They did try to, remember. I am a firm believer that Israel is the greatest and most powerful nation in the middle east. They have no choice but to remain strong all the time, and they know that from numerous past experiences.

The Palestinian parliament has a terrorist organization in power, that does not sit with me well. I have much sympathy for the Palestinians, but if I had to pick a side, it would be Israel.
Well, the Peacemaker game has the Palestian government be run by a technocrat, one that has no militas whatsoever. Basically, Fatah and Hamas both hate Israel, and if you play as Palestine, your goal is to sway them either to support Israel and your government, or to send in your troops to stop them, and thereby save Isreal, thereby ending the Israeli-Palestinan war and begining the creation of the Palestian state. Not exactly historically accurate, but seems to be the best way to avoid controversy.

The Conflict game that I linked to you is actually Pro-Israeli and is free, so you would like to download it. Basically, you play as Israel and try to defend the indepedent nation from the rest of the Arab world, who wants to destroy you. I think you would enjoy it.
---
Yeah, the $20 price tag is the main killer. If they had a playable demo, or had it been freeware, it would have been quite nice.

Quote:
If this is true then there is no use in reading non-fiction books or watching documentaries about current events. A serious video game could just provide another perspective into it, celebrating the strengths of our media. In general, I am surprised to see the resistance of hard-core gamers as this can only help video games in getting accepted and not criticized by senators as "the new epidemic".
Well, "serious games" may need to be a bit more emphasis on games and not on the seriousness. Most games are indeed serious in some way, shape or form (KOTOR2, Halo, etc.) For example, I am making a serious game based on the Iraqi War, called the Iraqi War Simulation. Instead of stressing about Sunnis and Shias fighting each other (that is of course, a key point), I focus more on the actual running of the state and the options the US Ambassador (the person you play as) can do.

You decide what you want to do, and how you want to do it, and, in other words, it becomes a game.

Also, some serious games (like the Anti-War Game) are by nature, unwinnable. The Anti-War Game has you be the President of the United States sending troops to fight in the Middle East. Your goal is to take over oil fields and suppress protests, thereby becoming more popular, while at the same time, making sure the Middle East love you so that they don't blow up America and end the game. It is, of course, impossible. Terrorists will either blow up the USA, you get kicked out of office, or you get overthrown in a popular revolution.

But it being impossible to win makes it more winnable. I think the game may get more people to play if it becomes impossible or very, very hard to establish a peace treaty...otherwise people may believe you are oversimplying it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asibu
The intention is perhaps not to "teach the kids how to solve the conflict", but rather let them understand more about it by trying a leadership role for themselves and by understanding cause and effect relations. An interactive experience could be more effective than TV news, don't you think? And you will be surprised how many people (kids and adults) are not savvy, they DO want to know more, but have no way to really achieve that by the endless cycle of news reports.



If this is true then there is no use in reading non-fiction books or watching documentaries about current events. A serious video game could just provide another perspective into it, celebrating the strengths of our media. In general, I am surprised to see the resistance of hard-core gamers as this can only help video games in getting accepted and not criticized by senators as "the new epidemic".
I think you have actually made some very good points here, kudos for that...fact is for me though, I know enough about it and I don't really feel the need to play it since for me it's a bit too depressing to be called a "game", fine you're trying to get to a peaceful solution yay but we all know real life is a lot different than that, and with religious fanatics on BOTH sides I don't think this conflict will end soon...


Quote:
Originally Posted by CountVerilucus
I shall address your question here Negative Sun, I want people to know. You have to look at the history of the people (Jews). Everywhere they go, they are oppressed and put down. It's amazing how they were able to survive.

They bought most of those lands in Palestine, unified, then just declared independence. The moment independence was declared, the Arab nations descended upon them and tried to obliterate them. Everybody thought they were going to lose, but still, Israelis pulled through. Then the Arabs tried to gang up on them again in the 60's, but still Israel beat back their offensive and went on the offensive themselves.

The fight for their independence and survival is just amazing. What do you think Iran or the majority of those countries in the middle east would have done if they had gotten nukes before Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that they would have tried to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They did try to, remember. I am a firm believer that Israel is the greatest and most powerful nation in the middle east. They have no choice but to remain strong all the time, and they know that from numerous past experiences.

The Palestinian parliament has a terrorist organization in power, that does not sit with me well. I have much sympathy for the Palestinians, but if I had to pick a side, it would be Israel.
Fair enough, I support the Palestinians because they have almost no resources and were driven into these pathetic bits of land by the Jews, who are, if you look back, not the original people of those lands...Look at it this way, poor Jews after WW2 need a place to stay, so let's drop them in the middle of the Arab centre of the world, surrounded by Arab nations, now there's a good idea!!!

I think that was a fatal mistake, and everything else stems back to that, but by now, the Jews are there to stay, and why not? It was their Holy Land centuries ago as well...I'm not fanatical about it, I just think it's a bit unfair towards the Palestinians, who are just trying to fight for what was once theirs with the limited resources they have.



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Old 02-07-2007, 09:47 PM   #23
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:34 PM   #24
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uh-oh, current events nearly make this game obsolete...

(cannot find link to story yet, but will asap...)


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Old 02-08-2007, 03:56 PM   #25
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You mean Hamas and Fatah finally forming a unity government?

Maybe not, we don't know if this new government (and Hamas) will recognize Israel or not. If it does, then the game is obsolte, and the designers will be cheering that peace is returning to the Middle East.

More likely, it won't, and the new government will devovle back into factional fighting...so the game will remain reveleant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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