Over a month has passed since the five winners and five honorable mentions of the first-ever Create UNAOC Challenge were officially announced at the 5th UNAOC Global Forum in Vienna, Austria. In the time since, much has been said in the press about our initiative and the potential of games and apps for intercultural dialogue. We feature here four of these articles.
In the article “International Apps/Games Competition Ends with Selection of Five Finalists”, Rick Pantaleo of Voice of America interviewed Create UNAOC producer Michael Suen (Learning Games Network) for Voice of America’s Science World magazine. Michael discusses the background and goals of the competition:
“Educators, businesses, public service organizations and media outlets have all discovered that creating and offering a variety of computer and smartphone games and applications is a great way to engage and communicate with their audiences as well as providing challenging, but entertaining learning opportunities.”
In “Building Global Competency and Helping to Reach Education for All Through Games and Apps”, Ed Gragert of The Huffington Post writes about two of the winning Create UNAOC apps along with Games for Change’s new Half the Sky Facebook game:
“Both among the five finalists in the UN Alliance of Civilizations competition for excellent games and apps that build cultural awareness, these games are examples of how new technologies can provide global education content in an engaging and fun activity.”
Jonathan Revach of Shalom Life covers PeaceTube, a non-profit project launched by two Israeli entrepreneurs, the project received a Create UNAOC Honorable Mention Award, and generates innovating ways to connect with others.
“PeaceTube: Promoting Conflict Resolution Through Video Chat”
“While some choose to use this ‘flat world’ for commerce or finding friends online, others, such as Israeli project PeaceTube, set grander goals, like promoting world peace…’It’s always easier to show the other side as cruel and generate propaganda,’ says [co-founder Lior] Penso, ‘our platform allows people to bypass the interpretations and prejudices and just talking directly.'”
In “A Touch-Screen Game That Wants to Save the World”, Jordan Shapiro at Forbes reviews Get Water!, the tablet game from Montreal’s startup Decode Global and a Create UNAOC winner, marking this as an important milestone in which video games begin to move past simple entertainment:
“These are some big human rights issues that Get Water drags out of the invisible shadows and brings into the light of discussion. I’m now having surprisingly sophisticated conversations with my two sons (five and seven years old) about the privatization and commodification of water rights while we swap devices and controllers on the living room sofa…all because of a video game.”
To learn more about the competition, please visit the Create UNAOC about page.