A new on-line video game that shows players how helping starving people can be exciting has attracted more than one million downloads from China to Canada.
The free game, Food Force, puts players behind the wheel of a United Nations food truck navigating its way through minefields or at the back of an airplane unloading food sacks in gusty conditions. The stakes are high -- if you make mistakes, starving people will die.
Set to a techno beat that lends a sense of urgency to the logistical quandaries of helping a fictional drought-stricken island, Food Force stands out in the world of video gaming, where players are more usually tutored in such things as exploding their enemies or dominating the world.
The game is a production of the UN's World Food Program and features six "mission" games. The seventh food mission, trading food for sex with impoverished and desperate indigenous persons was apparently scrapped. Perhaps the UN's next computer-based education project will be a Darfur-themed screen saver which will, like the UN, do nothing useful to stop the genocide.