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April 22, 2005

The UN: Raising Global Consciousness, One Video Game At A Time

Because it's Friday, I'm already bored and looking for trouble. So here's a time-waster for you. The tireless folks at the United Nations World Food Programme never rest (no, not even for a moment) in their endless fight to Combat World Starvation. I'm pleased to announced that they've released a game [!] called Food Force.


Now unsophisticated rubes (or merely those familiar with how much game programmers are paid) might be tempted to think UN funds might be more effectively spent on food for the hungry. Well let me assure you this sort of negative, short-term thinking is precisely the kind of thing that keeps the UN from accomplishing its vital mission! In keeping with its vision of giving back to the world community, the WFP isn't seeking to recoup any of the development costs of the game (or even using it to raise money for much-needed world hunger funds), but is instead giving it away for free:

The WFP's goal in releasing Food Force is to educate players about world hunger and the work the aid agency does....

One imagines those starving children in Africa will be immensely comforted, knowing that a massive UN consciousness-raising effort on their behalf is underway. Meanwhile, John Weidner comments:

The mind reels with the possibilities. I haven't played the game, but I can imagine it. Game points are charmingly called "dollars." Accumulate enough points in your "Swissaccount," and you can move ahead in this exciting game. Win the shiniest Toyota Landcruiser. Move to the penthouse of the only five-star hotel. Work on your tan. Give press conferences explaining how you caused those aircraft carriers to appear and deliver supplies. Pursue the all-important game tasks of "coordinating" and "planning" international "efforts."

Of course, since this is a children's game, certain important UN activities, like giving starving children food in exchange for sex, will have to be expressed with euphemisms. In the game it's called "making new little friends." Give them food tokens and they will reward you by singing "It's A Small Small World."

Personally I think they're just going after Aqua Teen Hunger Force's market share.

Shrewd move. That Kofi is no dummy.

Posted by Cassandra at April 22, 2005 07:37 AM

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Oh Gawd, that things REAL! And people are playing it!

Of course 6 of the top 10 are from Europe (is anyone really surprised there?)and none are Americans (can you imagine that poor souls friends if they ever found out - "Dude, grow a pair and go buy DoomIII").

Once again I must remind myself to never underestimate the stupidity of the Human Race (especially the European variant).

Posted by: Masked Menace [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2005 09:24 AM

Good lord, wait until Brouhaha gets his hands on this one. There will be no shutting him up.

Posted by: Pile On [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2005 05:10 PM

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