Yesterday, the UN News Centre provided an update on the success of humanitarian aid game Food Force
a year after its launch. Designed and produced by Deepend in Italy, with game programming by Playerthree in London for the United Nation' World Food Programme, Food Force
focuses on global hunger and how aid organizations fight it.
Rising above projections, Food Force
is reported to have "nearly 4 million players world-wide and is considered 'cool' among the 8-14 year old gaming sector in nearly 200 countries." Last April, the game was made available in Polish, adding to the English, Japanese and Italian translations already available. Hungarian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hindi and Arabic translations are planned in the near future.
Gamers face a number of realistic challenges to urgently feed thousands of people on the fictitious island of Sheylan, piloting helicopters on reconnaissance missions, negotiating with armed rebels on convoy runs and using food to help rebuild villages. Before each mission, the player is presented with an educational video segment about the reality of WFP work in the field, teaching them how WFP responds to actual food emergencies – where food originates, its nutritional breakdowns and how it is delivered.
Also in the works, is a blog to appear on the Food Force website. It will be written as a journal of one of the game’s characters but also feature entries from real-life WFP workers across the globe.
WFP’s Director of Communications Neil Gallagher also commented: "Pleased as we are with the success of Food Force, we are not resting on our laurels... In the lightning fast environment of the gaming industry, Food Force will soon age, so we are already working on a new video game for adults." The exact nature of the game has not yet been revealed.