16 May 2007 As Europe’s largest games industry event gets underway in Sweden, “Food Force,” the world’s first humanitarian video game for children, is celebrating the launch of three new language versions, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced.
“Children have very few opportunities to understand the realities of a hungry world. By engaging children in a fun and creative way, ‘Food Force’ will help children become better global citizens – now and in the future,” said John Powell, WFP Deputy Executive Director for Fundraising and Communications.
In the days leading up Nordic Game 2007, the gathering of video game professionals from the Nordic region and the world, WFP presented translations of the game about hunger in Finnish, Norwegian and German.
These come in addition to versions of the game in Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Polish, Hungarian and the original English. Swedish, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish are under development.
Launched in 2005, as the world’s first humanitarian video game, Food Force explores the problem of global hunger and the logistics of humanitarian aid work, and is designed for children aged 8 to 13. The game is available as a free internet download from www.food-force.com, where it has been downloaded about 5 million times.
The game consists of six missions in which players join Food Force’s crack team of emergency aid workers on the fictitious island of Sheylan.
Children are faced with a number of realistic challenges: piloting helicopters on reconnaissance missions, assembling nutritious ration packs on a tight budget, air-dropping food to remote villages, sourcing and purchasing food supplies, delivering truckloads of food through minefields and rebel-held territories, and using food to help people as they rebuild their lives.
All translations of Food Force have been fully sponsored by WFP partners or carried out pro bono by gaming companies. Yahoo! Games has helped WFP with numerous language versions by hosting the game files for download on their servers.