PD GAMES COMPETITION
Reinventing Public Diplomacy Through Games Competition
USC Center on Public Diplomacy hosted a contest for people to showcase their talent with a bit of world class game-making. The challenge to the game mod community, and current and aspiring game designers was as folllows: design a prototype or modify a game incorporating the fundamental characteristics of public diplomacy.
To download the competition rules and information click here (.pdf).
On Monday, May 8, 2006, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy announced the contest winners during the awards ceremony, which was held at the Davidson Center at the University of Southern California. All four finalists demonstrated their games for the esteemed panelists and in house audience at the awards ceremony. The event was simulcast in Second Life, where the attendance on Annenberg Island exceeded that at USC's Davidson Center.
The finalists ranged from virtual cultural exchange programs to strategy games about the Israel and Palestinian conflict or international water rights.
First Place - $5,000: Peacemaker -- A cross-cultural political video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which can be used to promote a peaceful resolution among Israelis, Palestinians and young adults worldwide. More information, please visit their website: LINK.
Second Place - $2,500: Hydro Hijinks -- A class project designed to promote discussion about international water issues and to educate players from around the world about sources of international conflict over water rights. Watch the video tour of the game at: LINK.
Third Place - $1,000: Exchanging Cultures -- A diplomatic game built inside "Second Life," was created to facilitate the creating virtual communities and relationships based on the exchange of cultural items like: dances, art crafts, food receipts, architectural models, clothing, cultural routes and images of real original places for travelers and explorers. LINK.
Honorary Mention - $500: Global Kids Island: Fostering Public Diplomacy Through Second Life -- Global Kids, Inc. envisioned a Public Diplomacy program within Second Life where the youth in the after-school program will spend the month learning about a global issue, experience an interactive and experiential workshop designed to educate about the issue. Their demonstration will be shown at the awards ceremony. For more information on the organization: LINK. Watch the video tour at: LINK
We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to all those that submitted to the contest!
John Seely Brown
Press Coverage of the Event
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Award Ceremony Photos
The PeaceMaker Team
The 'Hydro Hijinks' Team
The 'Exchanging Cultures' Team
The 'GlobalKids' Team
The panelists (l-r): Cory Ondrejka, T.L. Taylor, Bing Gordon, Lauren Bon
USC Annenberg School for Communication Dean Geoffrey Cowan
USC Center on Public Diplomacy's Nicholas Cull and former U.S. Ambassador Derek Shearer discuss the impact of games on public diplomacy.
John Seely Brown, Bing Gordon
The Center on Public Diplomacy's Jean Miller at the awards ceremony as seen on Annenberg Island in Second Life.
Screenshot of the awards ceremony in Second Life
New Technology and Public Diplomacy: "Public Diplomacy and MMOGs"
One initiative of the Public Diplomacy and Virtual Worlds project examines the role of video games, specifically Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), in public diplomacy.
The study explores the role of MMOGs in the following ways:
- For U.S. games, as extensions of the U.S. brand and their role in shaping how the world sees the U.S. (for non-U.S. games their role as extensions of identity, image and brand of their respective country);
- As online venues (or virtual worlds) in which people from different cultures come together and shape or form ideas about each other and their respective cultures;
- The unique role that 'localization' plays in public diplomacy (How does framing a game for a community outside the game's country of origin play a role in its impact?);
- Game Design: As public policy play tools that can be used to educate (not train) people about how different cultures work and/or function (e.g. Roleplay Kofi Annan or the President of Russia, etc.).