Global Conflicts: Latin America suggests that games are serious business

That’s the trailer for Global Conflicts: Latin America, a game that puts you in the role of an investigative journalist who seeks to unmask corruption and exploitation. Using a point-and-click, adventure game interface, players go through a series of interviews and use what’s gathered from them to produce an article. It’s an educational title intended for teenagers that aims to expose them to issues that people in some countries of Central America are facing. 

Heavy stuff, right?  It isn’t the first time that the appropriately named developer, Serious Games Interactive, has attempted to tackle dicey territory like this. Their previous title in the series, released last year, attempted to shed light on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. Both games seem to be primarily targeted towards educators, and the company provides research to demonstrate their effectiveness as teaching tools.

According to the Global Conflicts: Latin America website, a demo for PC and Mac should be available shortly and the full game is scheduled to be released near the end of the month. While the game has been made in seven languages, publishers have only been announced for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden with no word on how it might be released in the US or anywhere else.

I haven’t really kept up on the use of games in classrooms since I stopped spending time in them and this is a far cry from Math Blaster. Most titles I’ve seen that try to teach something are aimed at a younger audience. This game sports fairly impressive visuals for an educational title and the subject matter seems ideal for a tech-savvy social studies teacher. Do you think that, as videogaming becomes more integrated into our culture, we might start seeing games like this start to crop up in school cirriculum? Or do educational games end at the Oregon Trail?

Conrad Zimmerman