Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Erika Jonietz

Video Game to Fight Hunger?

The United Nations’ World Food Program has created a video game called Food Force to help educate kids about hunger and the aid agency’s work. Billed as a cross between Tomb Raider and a lecture from the World Food Program,…

  • August 17, 2004

The United Nations’ World Food Program has created a video game called Food Force to help educate kids about hunger and the aid agency’s work. Billed as a cross between Tomb Raider and a lecture from the World Food Program, the game is targeted to children between 8 and 13 years old, according to BBC News.

The game is due to be released later this year for the PC and Mac, and will be available in the U.S. as a free CD or download from the Internet. It starts with a short video that explains a crisis in an imaginary country due to drought and civil war. Players then complete a series of missions such as dropping food parcels from the air or using food aid to rebuild the country’s economy.

While the goal is admirable, I have to wonder about how helpful it is to target this sort of information to kids as young as 8. This is a growing trend among aid and conservation groups, with A-B-C books on endangered species and elementary school pamphlets on rainforest destruction. Young children should be encouraged to do basic things such as recycle or bring canned food to a food pantry. But it’s questionable how much information they can–or should–absorb on the depth of the world’s problems and their own (future) responsibility for solving them.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to MIT Technology Review.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.