Monday, May 21, 2007

Ben's Project & Game Proposal

Last week, while reading articles and visiting websites about issues such as the movements of both the Zapatistas and Durban Shack Dwellers, I realized that there are so many disputes and battles taking place all over the world with which I am not familiar. For my final project, I would like to find and research the largest areas of contention in the world, and maybe create something like a “top 10” or “top 5” list for issues everyone (or every American) needs to know about. My hope is to both create awareness of lesser-known global problems and offer people the means of contributing to resolving them--something like Darfur is Dying or 3rd World Farmer--but I might end up including some of the bigger issues as well.

I have not decided on which problems to address, but I have come up with a general layout for my site. I will have a general summary for each of the larger events, and each page will contain a link to a site/sites dedicated to the issue (if there are any). I want to be sure to make clear steps people can take in their daily lives to contribute to solving the problems. I may also incorporate video clips from someplace like or YouTube.

Thinking about my project led me to an idea for a social impact game. If I were to create a game, I would make it on the issue of coffee farmers. I chose coffee as the focus for my project because Americans consume more coffee than any other people in the world, and I believe that it is incredibly important to be aware of the effort put by other people into making the products we consume regularly and often take for granted. I would find out exactly how much labor, resources, etc. go into a single cup of coffee, and maybe do a “day in the life of a coffee worker” where I would show the working conditions for pickers in the field.

In my game, I would incorporate elements from both 3rd World Farmer and The Anti-Bush Video Game. I would have an animated/visual timeline similar to that of 3rd World Farmer that shows the growing process of coffee beans, and then track the beans on their journey from the field to the cup (consumer). Beans are taken through all kinds of processing machines, collected in bags, shipped, re-shipped, and finally ground up by the person actually making the coffee drink; my game would show the entire process.

The feature I liked most about The Anti-Bush Video Game was that it had a bar at the bottom of the screen that contained links to all the important informational parts of the site. My site would also have this feature, so that people solely interested in learning the facts could do so. I would be sure to incorporate facts such as the average daily pay for a coffee bean picker, and show how much it compares to that of the average worker in America (or maybe California minimum wage). While my game might not be much fun, it would educate people about the importance of worker’s rights, and possibly inspire a search for more knowledge regarding other important issues in today’s world.

No comments: