Last week, at the Video Gamers United (VGU) convention in Washington D.C., gamers were faced with an unexpected message. A UNICEF video game was one of the previews shown.
UNICEF, or the United Nations Children’s Fund, is an organization that helps children worldwide by providing for basic necessities, helping children in dangerous situations, and otherwise protecting them from the dangers of war, famine, disease, and poverty. It seems unlikely that one would run into them at a gaming convention.
It began as a pitch for a new, survival-style game with a child protagonist, entitled “Elika’s Escape”. The story pitch involved a child in a war-torn country struggling to escape with her infant brother after her mother and brother die, only to be faced with an impossible choice in a refugee camp. You can watch the video of the pitch here:
The video game wasn’t real, but the story was. The pitch was an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of South Sudanese children caught in the midst of a conflict and suffering from disease and malnutrition. The presentation ended with the hashtag #SouthSudanNow and a request for those present to Tweet about the situation and talk about it.
You can find out more about the situation in South Sudan and how you can help at the UNICEF website.