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MSU-Developed Game Teaches Cambodian Children to Avoid Landmines

A team of students and instructors at Michigan State University is developing a serious game application designed to teach children in Cambodia to identify and avoid landmines and other unexploded ordnance.
A team of students and instructors at Michigan State University is developing a serious game application designed to teach children in Cambodia to identify and avoid landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO). Undercover UXO pairs players with a virtual pet. Together, the pair must scavenge for food in realistic environments, identifying and responding to warning signs indicating nearby landmines. Players are rewarded for avoiding dangers and for reporting potential hazard sites to unexploded ordnance inspectors. Undercover UXO features low system requirements, and is designed to run on inexpensive One Laptop Per Child computers. The game is funded by a $77,788 grant from the U.S. State Department, and is developed in partnership with the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Currently, the project is being revised to improve functionality and reliability in preparation for worldwide distribution. Testing for usability and educational impact will begin soon at MSU and in Cambodia.

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