PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Build Peace 2015 and UN PeaceApp winners

On April 25-26 the Build Peace 2015 – Peace through Technology: By Whom, For Whom? conference will be held in Nicosia. Build Peace “explores art and cultural works as tools for conflict mediation, reconciliation and rebuilding, storytelling, heritage, and education, with a specific focus on the impact and increasing relevance of technology on all aspects of artistic and cultural work.” Parts of the conference will be livestreamed.

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At that time, awards will also be given to the winners of UN PEACEApp competition, which were announced back in December:

The winners of this year’s PEACEapp competition are five highly innovative approaches to building peace: a global conflict simulation platform, a mobile game to educate voters about the violent Kenyan elections, a mobile app that enables users to empathize with victims of racism, a game that connects youth to challenge prejudice and promote collaboration, and a fantasy game that uses peace superheroes to teach children about non-violent engagement with conflict. Congratulations to the teams and thank you to everyone who participated!

PEACEapp is organised by the UNAOC and UNDP, in collaboration with Build Up, in order to promote digital games and gamified apps as venues for cultural dialogue and conflict management.The diversity of our winners this year reflects the incredible number of entries we received. Over 100 submissions from 42 different countries tackled different aspects of peacebuilding and cross-cultural dialogue in engaging and innovative ways. Our international jury of experts, drawn from the fields of peacebuilding, technology and international development, reviewed the entries and chose the winners.

Winners of completed projects will be awarded $5,000 (US) in recognition of their work, and winners of projects in development will receive expert mentorship from Games for Change and Build Up, together with a series of other partners. One member from each team will also be invited, all costs covered, to present at the Build Peace conference in Cyprus in April 2015, where the PEACEapp awards ceremony will also take place.

The winners were:

Completed Projects

Conflict Simulation Platform (Germany)

This project is about expanding an existing browser-based multiplayer gaming platform to simulate political conflicts on a wide range of peace-related issues, such as terrorism, migration, as well as international and domestic conflict. Players take on the role of key stakeholders in the negotiations, which can be played synchronously in a few hours or asynchronously over several weeks. You can find more information on their website.

Haki 2: Chaguo Ni Lako (Kenya)

As a response to the violent Kenyan elections, Haki: Chaguo Ni Lako (the choice is yours), is a mobile-phone game that was designed to educate new voters, inspire a commitment to peace and tolerance in time for the 2013 Kenyan elections. Haki 2 is available to download for free from the Google Play app store.

Everyday Racism (Australia)

Everyday Racism is the world’s first mobile phone app that challenges users to live in the shoes of someone who frequently experiences racism. It is based on a seven-day challenge to live a week in the life of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman, an Indian student or just as yourself, getting immersed in a world where people interact with you based on the way you look, the way you speak and the way you behave. Everyday Racism can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google play.

Projects in development

Kokoro: A virtual global community (Switzerland)

Kokoro is a place that connects children and youth, challenges prejudices, encourages reflection and inspires action. A game and online platform that fosters ethical values and collaboration. Watch Kokoro’s demo video.

Peace Superheroes (Brazil)

Peace Superheroes is a digital game in which players don’t even realize they’re learning about peace building because they’re so enthralled, yet they’re in fact acquiring relevant and applicable skills to positively transform real life conflicts. Watch the Peace Superheroes introductory video.

PEACEApp also listed a number of honourable mentions:

Completed Projects

  • Ibn Nattuta App (Spain): aimed at improving coexistence between citizens of Arab / Muslim cultural background and the rest of the population, is aimed to improve, through knowledge, the self-esteem of ones and respect from the others, especially young.

  • BREAKAWAY Initiative (USA): an online soccer game to help end violence against women & girls wherein players confront challenges modeled after real-world violence and bullying, requires funding to make updates to the game for upcoming youth camps in El Salvador.

  • Janjaruka GBV Maze Game (Kenya): the game was developed to work towards empowering children to recognize, prevent and take action against sexual abuse.

  • Stereowipe (Pakistan): StereoWipe aims at enhancing social cohesion by raising awareness around stereotypes and setting the stage for a dialogue on the potential damages from social biases.

  • TF-CBT: Triangle of Life  (USA): a game that teaches children how to distinguish between thoughts, feelings and behaviours; and helps them understand their interconnected relationship.

Projects in development

  • Training Peace Practitioners through Serious Games (The Netherlands): a virtual training experience to prepare peace practitioners to better contribute to peace and dialogue developed by a consortium of peacebuilding training organisations

  • @Stake (USA): a role-playing card game designed to foster empathy and collaboration in democratic decision-making processes.

  • Peace Park (Georgia): a game that challenges players to restore peace in a communal park and make all visitors get along, by understanding their interests and making wise decisions.

  • The Journey (Sweden): The root cause of violence and misunderstanding of migrants is a lack of empathy and the project tries to make people aware why people migrate and what they have to go through to do it.

  • iLU: Cross-cultural social media networking (Colombia): a cross-cultural social media networking based on emotion sharing and global citizenship for peace building. iLU allows users to interact with people around the world via photo sharing.

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