A new video game that will be highlighted at the Games for Change conference hosted by RMIT in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday hopes to raise awareness about refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Refugees often take dangerous journeys on the open seas to reach the shores of friendly democracies. The game puts players in the shoes of these "boat people" who are trying to make their way to places like Australia to find safe haven and the kind of freedom and opportunities not available to them in their native lands. Players can also play as the authorities, though details on that aspect of gameplay has not been disclosed. The game is being developed by Jens Stober, a PhD student at RMIT University's GEELab campus in Karlsruhe, Germany.
You may remember Stober for previous work that was considered controversial, like the 2010 first-person shooter game called "1378". In that game, players can be border guards or refugees fleeing the East German communist regime. The ability of guards to shoot fugitives caused outrage among victims' relatives and advocacy groups. Stober's next game was Frontiers, which shed light on the European refugee issue.
Stober says that his is in the research phase of development with his latest game and plans to launch it next year.
"It's not my aim to promote some kind of scandal, it's just to provide some information for people that are not that deeply into this topic," Stober claims. "The games are addressed to a generation that I think doesn't have a lot to do with this topic yet."
Source: Great Lakes Advocate