The Australian Immigration Minister is pissed because an arts group got government funding to build a game that replicates the notorious Woomera refugee detention center and encourages players to find ways to escape. Escape from Woomera appears to be a protest piece of art - a member of the wishes-to-remain-anonymous group behind it says "there's been a lot of focus on the victimhood (of detainees) and we really want to focus on the bravery and heroism of these people." Quoting her from an article about the game in The Age, "she said the project was also a reaction to the Federal Government policy of restricting media access to detention centres. 'They don't want people to know what it's like, and we do,' she said." According to ABC news, a group representing refugees says the making of the game trivializes the issues. But would they say that if hundreds of school children played the game and saw the conditions the game-makers want to model?
For the record, Immigration Minister Ruddock says conditions have improved at the Woomera centers; they have two PlayStations there now! I wonder what kind of fights break out between refugees hoping for chance with the a controller?
(From the Serious Games mailing list)