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More Responses to Endgame:Syria

January 18, 2013

The global interest in Endgame:Syria continues… and this particular response from an AP/Yahoo News report caught my eye…

Andrea Stanton, a religious studies professor at the University of Denver who studies Syria, said she responded emotionally to the game.

“It isn’t really a fun game to play,” she said, noting that she was angry when she lost and felt dread when the frequency of deadly regime airstrikes went up as the game progressed – as it has in the real conflict.
“This a very sobering game in that you sense how quickly the military stakes escalate and how little the political phase has to do with actual Syrians,” she said.

She is organizing a campus activity for students to play and discuss the game.
“I think it is very valuable for teaching and getting people to experience a sense of the limited options the rebels face,” she said.

Endgame:Syria Screenshot

Endgame:Syria Screenshot

Jonathan Blow, designer of the excellent Braid, weighed in on the debate with an interesting take on it, suggesting that perhaps game developers need to look more that the work they make:

I think this is the wrong attitude about games, but look, ultimately it is game developers’ fault, not Apple’s. Apple is treating games as shallow commercial entertainment experiences because they have been taught by game developers that that is what games are.

If we had built a world where games routinely work with serious issues in ways that people care about, Apple would not be able to take this stance, because it would not make any sense.

Which is a very interesting point. Indiestatik also wrote about the game and I was pleased to see, got totally what we were trying to do:

Every action you make here will have a big impact on each of these topics and your endgame will take into account everything you do. Ultimately, though, things may be out of your control as you learn the power of the world’s media to swing interest in and out of your favor. It’s a powerful message that emerges in reality. Replaying does have different outcomes but the results contain similar teachings about how politics work.

The whole article is well worth a read and is a good discussion of games, politics and the publishing rights and wrongs.

(See here, here and here for more.)

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