Coinciding with the upcoming Mideast Peace Summit in Maryland tomorrow, the Peres Center for Peace will be giving away 100,000 copies of PeaceMaker to Israelis and Palestinians living in the conflict zone.
In PeaceMaker, gamers play as either the Palestinian Prime Minister or Israeli President as they attempt to lead their nation and their people toward a lasting international peace. Players will encounter the same obstacles as real-life leaders, including protests, political pressures and acts of violence against soldiers and citizens alike.
"Since we first got the idea for PeaceMaker, it has been our hope to put this game in the hands of people who live with the real conflict every day, so they can play as the other side," said Asi Burak, co-founder of PeaceMaker developer ImpactGames. "With this game, the people can succeed where politicians and leaders have failed until now - bringing peace to the Middle-East."
Burak, a former Israeli Army Intelligence Corps captain, created the game along with U.S. citizen Eric Brown after the two met at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology program. The game was developed with a panel of Palestinian and Israeli consultants, and is the first of a series of current events-oriented games the company is developing.
"It's significant that the PeaceMaker giveaway in the Mideast is happening around the peace summit, but also at a time of year when millions of Westerners begin their holiday shopping by purchasing games where war, violence and conflict are central points of the game," said Brown, CEO of ImpactGames. "To win at PeaceMaker, you have to cooperate with the other side and reach an understanding; you must challenge any prior knowledge or assumptions you have about the Mideast conflict."
75,000 copies of the game will be sent to subscribers of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, while another 10,000 copies will be sent out through the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds. 15,000 more copies will be given to Palestinian and Israeli high schools, where they will be taught to students over the coming months by specially-trained teachers. Gamers around the world who wish to try their hand at bringing peace to the troubled region can download a demo or purchase the game online at the PeaceMaker website.