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Gamer hopes to click with conflict

Users play as journos in controversial 'Palestine' game

Talk about hot-button issues.

Danish computer company Serious Games Interactive (SGI) has developed “Global Conflicts: Palestine,” a vidgame in which players navigate the frontlines of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

While the game is certain to raise eyebrows across the region with its hot-potato subject matter, SGI has sidestepped the issue of propagating violence with a simple device: Players never pick up a gun. Instead, playing the role of journos, they file stories filled with quotes from either side. The more facts one reveals, the better the stories.

Players pick which side of the conflict they support by their actions: Pro-Palestinian tasks include helping a pregnant Palestinian woman cross an Israeli checkpoint, while pro-Israeli points are granted for infiltrating Hamas.

It’s all part of a new educational approach to gaming that SGI execs hope will catch on.

“The next generation of computer games will throw off the shackles of mindless entertainment,”asserts the company’s Web site.”Global Conflicts: Palestine” is slated for release in early 2007. SGI intends to roll out more games related to Mideast hotspots as part of their “Global Conflicts; Middle East” series.

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