A team at Michigan State University has just released a video game that aims to educate Cambodian children on the dangers of landmines and how they can avoid harming themselves.
In development for the last few years
, Undercover UXO
(shorthand for unexploded 'ordnance') asks the player to direct a dog, asking it to find food while dodging hidden explosives, reports
the LA Times. A number of on-screen cues, such as skull symbols and barbed-wire fences, alert the player to where dangers lie.
If the child sets a mine off, the game will explain what happened, and what the child did wrong. It will then educate the user on what they can do in the future to avoid making the same mistake.
A study by the Cambodian Mine Action Center estimates that there are still around 4-6 million explosive devices in the country. Nearly 64,000 people have been killed or maimed by these devices in the last three decades.
The group of Michigan State University professors behind the project hope that it will help get the message across to the younger generation.
The game has just been released for PC and the XO-1 computer, and versions for Mac, Linux and smartphones are planned.