Video games are the media of a new generation. However, many of the top-selling games contain violent content. And while kids invest more hours playing them, this poses a huge problem.
“PeaceMaker proves that there is an alternative: games that are meaningful, educational, and promote dialog and critical thinking,” says the ImpactGames team behind the design.
The PeaceMaker game is inspired by real events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. PeaceMaker is two games in one: players can take the role of the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian President and bring peace to the region before their term in office ends. The game is playable in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
They chose the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a representation of the most significant challenges facing world leaders today.
“We believe we have a real chance to add new verbs to the vocabulary of the new generation, the future leaders of the world. Interactive media is a perfect tool for creating empathy and a deeper understanding of multiple perspectives.”
PeaceMaker allows the player to interact with the world in leadership role from both sides of the conflict. It leads to a deep exploration of the issues and a better understanding of the complexities of either perspective.
The game is downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people in over 60 countries and received positive reviews in international media. It has been praised for its balanced approach by Arab and Jewish sources. In November 2007, on the day of the international peace summit in Annapolis, the Peres Center for Peace distributed 80,000 free copies in Israel and the West Bank. The Peres Center then launched an educational program in which thousands of Palestinian and Israeli high school pupils play PeaceMaker and go through guided dialogs.