An investigation is under way in southern India to determine if a man who died over the weekend was the first person to be killed by a meteor in modern times. According to Reuters, Indian officials believe a bus driver at Bharathidasan Engineering College in Vellore, a district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu,…
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I’m a firm believer that interactive media can elicit stronger emotional effects than just reading a book or watching a movie.
But can playing video games change someone’s perspective on war and the refugee crisis?
Many video games feature war or armed conflict as a central inclusion to their story arc. War facilitates a reason to shoot people, defend a base, or just kick some ass.
And you’ll almost always be completing your objectives as part of the in-game military or government.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones uniquely puts you in control of those most vulnerable during war, the civilians.
Without much instruction, the game thrusts you into an abandoned house, one where you and your randomly selected group of survivors must hunker down until a ceasefire.
The problem is, you don’t know when that day will come.
Through my three playthroughs thus far, none of the groups I was given made it to the end.
The difficulty spikes in the game come from the unexpected nature of every encounter.
One night may be completely calm and routine, but following the next day, half of your group could be lethally wounded by raiders that also stole most of your supplies.
The setting of This War of Mine is all too real.
It’s inspiration comes from the Siege of Sarajevo, a battle for the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina that represented the longest siege of a capital in modern history.
Lasting for 1,425 days between 1992 and 1995, the siege claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people.
This War of Mine recreates the danger the Bosnian war presented by blocking off previously loot filled areas with fights and sniper fire.
The Little Ones add-on even subjects children to these perils.
The horrifically recognizable sniper alley of the Siege of Sarajevo manifests itself in “sniper junction” an in-game scavenger location, and tragic odes to the real-world travesty are seen everywhere in the game.
While slightly underutilized, the inclusion of children into the game hammers home one of the game’s central selling points; “In war kids are still kids”.
I often used their inclusion in the game to warrant the atrocities I committed. I didn’t want to add to the bodies littering the city, but I soon realized I had to kill in order to live.
I found no joy in robbing an elderly couple in order to feed my group of survivors. I tried to morally justify it by saying that they had lived a long life and that my group was still young.
I often risked too much for a simple set of bandages or basic crafting supplies, and got my best scavenger killed in the process.
I gathered toys for the children instead of feeding my group for the day, causing one of the adults to become immobile from starvation for several days.
I chose not to intervene when a soldier was attempting to rape a woman.
I decided the supplies were more important and the risk of being shot was too great.
And those were the choices I had the most control over.
I didn’t get to choose who would attack me on sight.
I made no decision as to whether I would be raided multiple nights in a row.
I especially had no choice when my first playthrough ended because my final survivor killed himself.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones is not a fun, light-hearted romp.
It is a grossly realistic look into the human element of war, including the often forgotten or downplayed numbers of civilians trapped by shelling and snipers.
While the Siege of Sarajevo took place more than 20 years ago, present day wars still ravage humanity in places like Aleppo, Syria.
Video games existed two decades ago, but their arguably mainstream appeal today would allow games like This War of Mine: The Little Ones to have a widespread impact on our collective thinking.
Will one game alter the perspectives of everyone who plays it?
I doubt it.
But games like This War of Mine have created a new entry point to dialogues on touchy subjects such as the refugee crisis.
You can’t solve a problem without first addressing its existence and I see video games as a way to shine light on the iniquitous pieces of humanity, whether they dwell in the past, present or future.
This story was originally published on ThePolyglot.net.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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Oh Alabama chief justice Roy Moore.
How we love to hate you and your bigoted views on gay people. And apparently we’re not alone.
You see, Roy Moore has twice run for governor (2006 and 2010) and failed both times.
He also failed as a Presidential candidate in 2012 (yep he actually tried to be President).
He is best known however as a national laughingstock that has brought some pretty bad shame to the Yellowhammer state due to his fundamentalist views and intransigence on matters of basic human rights.
But he also seems to be entrenched as chief justice until he is forced out due to his age in 2018.
Until that great day however, you have RoyMooreForGovernor.com.
Created by a guy named Justin Gandy from Russellville, the site brutally mocks Moore for his backward beliefs on gay rights.
Here’s a taste from the site’s homepage, which is posing as a real campaign site for the judge:
“My name is Roy Moore, and I’m committed to making gay people go away because they are icky and Jesus doesn’t love them. Like you, I want to play an active role in making gay people’s lives as miserable as our own. I will work at the community, state and country level to make Alabama a safer, better place to raise our children, run a business, and forge a future filled with unlimited promise that is free from the tyranny of Clay Aiken and Sam Smith. I don’t care how angelic Sam Smith’s voice is I’m not listening to it!”
It also includes an “endorsements” page that is quite nice indeed.
Oh yes please.
Moore could run for governor again in 2018 when his term as chief justice ends, but if he does he’ll have to get creative about his choice for website URL since Gandy owns the domain until 2019.
RISE NEWS has tried reaching out to Gandy and we’ll update this story when we speak to him.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.Post Views: 756
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Facebook has been awash in shares of a story about the death of Casey Anthony, the woman who in 2011 was found not guilty of murdering her young daughter in a trial that grabbed international headlines.
Could it be really true?
Well it is according to two so called “news” websites- Breaking13News.com and Now8News.com who posted identical stories.
From the two sites:
“According to “Unconfirmed reports coming out of Warren, Ohio state that the body of Casey Anthony was found in a rest stop near I-71, bludgeoned to death. At 1:37 PM on Monday, a traveler noticed a body in the back of a pickup truck abandoned in a grassy field about 20 yards from the parking area as he was walking his dog. The man said as he approached the vehicle, there was a horrible stench in the air. He was shocked to find a young female, in her late 20’s to early 30’s, partially dismembered.”
The tale of Anthony’s untimely demise has been shared thousands times on Facebook and has been popping up on people’s news feeds for a few days now.
But Internet fact checker Snopes.com has called foul on the report, deeming it to be untrue and little more than an attempt to make money with click bait headlines.
“This report is false: Casey Anthony has not died. Breaking News 13 is one of many fake news sites on the Internet that mimic the appearance of local television news outlets and publish fictitious stories masquerading as real news accounts in order to lure in readers and thereby generate social media shares and advertising revenue — and because of her controversial stature, Casey Anthony is a favorite subject for eyeball-grabbing headlines.”
Rise News called a number listed on the BreakingNews13.com website to allow the operators a chance to respond, but it did not seem to be connected.
Button line people: start paying closer attention to the sources where you get your news from.
H/T to Inquisitr.com for first reporting the existence of Now8News.com.
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Cover Photo Credit: Screenshot from BreakingNews13.comPost Views: 1,465
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