In a new effort to teach young people about how to resolve problems without resorting to violence, students at Champlain College in Vermont have designed a video game called Breakaway, that uses soccer as a backdrop to get into some serious issues. As an recent Inter Press Service article explains:
The game was released in June 2010 just in time for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Since its inception, it has been hailed by critics, fans and players as a masterly attempt to create new discourses and open doors around the contentious issues of gender violence, racial stereotyping and fair team play.
Endorsed by Cameroonian football star Samuel Eto’o, Breakaway is the first narrative-driven interactive online game of its kind and is currently being distributed free around the world via the internet and youth organizations.
Breakaway is premised on the ideal of ‘fair play’, and the player is forced to make choices based on a host of situations before he or she is allowed to advance in the game.
Less than six months after its release, Breakaway is making monumental progress. The game’s designers have already recorded over a thousand registered users from 95 different countries.
The game can be played for free here, so check it out and spread the word.