Dealing With The Broader Conflict

Mourad Mahidi from Vienna/Austria sent us this kind inquiry a few days ago. Many others have asked us the same:

I was wondering if and how the neighboring countries are incorporated in the game? Since they are an important aspect of the broader conflict… Again, I really want to encourage you, that’s definitely one of the most interesting and promising projects I know to reach the young (and not so young) people and help them understand the conflict!!! Thanks for that! I’m looking forward to some interesting hours!

Firstly, thanks for the encouraging words. We are trying our best to live up to such expectations. The short answer is that we did integrate some aspects of the broader conflict into the game – in messages and surrounding events. Egypt and Jordan also play an active role in mediation. However, we’ve decided to focus the player’s attention on Israeli-Palestinian relations. Our (debatable) assumption is that this is the key to solve Israel’s relations with other Arab countries. I’d be glad to discuss this more once the game is out and you can all judge it for yourselves.

No Magic Plans

Happy New Year! A personal comment for 2007- from time to time we receive emails from people who are confident they have the “perfect plan to solve the Middle-East conflict” and they strongly believe that their solution should be integrated into our video game. With much appreciation to their passion and determination, to me this notion stands in contrast to what we’re trying to convey. I believe more in a bottom-up and systemic change, promoting empathy and tolerance on the individual level over time. In addition, I would argue that the end solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is clear and known, and that there is no magic solution that someone never thought of. Can an “out of the box” creative plan erase decades of personal loss, hatred and mistrust?

In PeaceMaker, one takes a leadership role, and the message is: your power is limited and your authority is challenged. Clicking on the PeaceMaker executable file won’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The real change may come by promoting empathy and by accepting the validity of the other side’s perspective. And that takes a lot of time and patience, no shortcuts allowed.