UN refugee agency releases computer game in English

UN refugee agency releases computer game in English

A still from Against All Odds. © UNHCR
An English version of an award-winning United Nations online game aimed at raising awareness and knowledge about refugee situations by putting players in the position of a person forced to flee their home made its debut today.

“Against All Odds” is a reworked version of a Swedish-language game, Motallaodds, which was designed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Stockholm and launched nearly two years ago.

In September 2006, the German version of the game – known as LastExitFlucht (LastExitFlight) – was awarded the Austrian Multimedia and E-Business State Prize in the category for “Knowledge and Learning,” after beating off stiff competition from a CD-Rom about the life of Mozart.

While there have been many educational tools created for raising awareness about refugees over the years, Against All Odds offers a chance to experience what it is like to be a refugee, according to UNHCR.

Players are challenged by a variety of obstacles and scenarios simulating real-life struggles faced by refugees on a daily basis, including intolerance, interrogation, flight and language barriers.

“In the United States and other developed countries it can be difficult for people to understand the challenges refugees face. By getting Against All Odds into classrooms across the US, we hope to open the door, at least a little, towards a better understanding,” said Tim Irwin, UNHCR’s senior public information officer in Washington.

The game also offers a web facts section, where players can read stories and watch films about individual refugees, as well as get important articles and resources.

Against All Odds also has a “teacher information” page, providing lesson plans, learning activities, and other educational resources.

In the US, a link to the game will be available on the website (www.unrefugees.org) as part of the UNHCR’s “Teachers’ Corner” education programme, which reaches thousands of elementary, middle and high school teachers across the country.

The English version is the latest addition to a list of languages that now includes Swedish, German, Greek and Norwegian.