Computer game to teach Middle East Peace


British schoolchildren are set to learn about the Israel-Palestine conflict thanks to a computer game devised in Denmark.

Global Conflicts: Checkpoints lets players take on the role of journalists reporting from the conflict.

The game is being used in more than 500 schools around the world. It has been designed for students aged 13 and above by award-winning company Serious Games Interactive, based in Copenhagen.

It is the second remake of Global Conflicts: Palestine, an educational game launched in 2007 that has been sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Users of the latest version cover life at a Jerusalem checkpoint, interviewing people from different backgrounds with the goal of writing an article for a newspaper. The game is also online, making it more accessible to users.

Simon Egenfeldt, chief executive of Serious Games Interactive, said: "This is to encourage students to explore different perspectives in the conflict and learn about it in an investigatory way. We used a variety of approaches when researching the game, from newspapers to talking to Arabs and Israelis. We tried to get many different perspectives and keep it balanced."

Mikkel Lucas Overby, commercial director at the Danish company, added: "The game allows students to inhabit roles and visit places otherwise inaccessible to them. Events from the Israeli-Palestine conflict suddenly become personally meaningful to them. They get to experience them first hand, which in most cases leads to further interest in the subject and long-term retention."

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