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Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is supporting a project to create a mobile game that will allow users to experience what it’s like to save lives under extreme conditions with only limited supplies.
The game, developed for iOS and Android devices, will challenge players to respond to a variety of scenarios – such as wars, epidemics, and natural disasters – using the limited resources at their disposal (medicines, field hospitals, medical staff, transport, etc) to save lives and avert disaster. Although the game is set in a fictional world where any humanitarian disaster is possible, it reflects the real-world experience of MSF staff in our projects around the world.
The IndieGoGo-crowdfunded game – with a working title of 'It's No Game' – is being developed by Mediadante, the BAFTA-Nominated producers behind the Channel 4 documentary, “Escape from Isis”.
"I’ve always felt inspired by the work of MSF," says Rosie Garthwaite, Mediadante's Executive Producer. "When I was a journalist with Al Jazeera covering the Middle East, MSF were often the first to arrive during a humanitarian emergency and usually the last leave.
“This game will give MSF an innovative tool to reach new supporters and engage them about their life-saving work - I’m really excited to be working with MSF on such a ground breaking project.”
The basic game-play may be similar to Plague Inc., This War of Mine, The Sims and other real-time strategy games in which players need to solve problems with limited resources while up against forces beyond their control. There are different characters to choose from (different roles within MSF) and multiple scenarios in which the game will take place.
In each ‘mission’ players are faced with different challenges; For example, building a refugee camp for people fleeing conflict, or setting up a field hospital in the aftermath of an earthquake. Through different characters within the game, players will take on different roles within MSF (doctors, nurses, construction specialists, logistics specialists, etc). One moment might find a player acting as a doctor treating war casualties, and in another acting as a logistics specialist organising the delivery of new medical supplies over land and sea to an area damaged by a tsunami.
Although the working title for the game is “It’s No Game” Rosie and her team are inviting backers of their IndieGoGo campaign to collaborate on the game's development.
“The game is being developed on a not-for-profit basis so we’re looking for a much support as possible but it’s not just about raising money; we want people to get involved in the creative process as well.”
Everything from the name of the game, to the design of the avatars, and the disaster scenarios faced by players, will be decided by a community of people.
As a medical charity, MSF can’t invest its donor’s money in the game. However, MSF is backing the project as it believes it will be a valuable tool to engage people about MSF's work in a new and exciting way, and provide a new way for people to support its life-saving work through in-game donations.
Get a deeper insight into the work of MSF by contacting us.