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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
UN video game makes hunger point
Food Force
The game features six educational missions
A video game which aims to teach children about global hunger has been released by the United Nations.

Food Force is the brainchild of the World Food Programme (WFP), which last year fed more than 100 million people.

The UN body seeks to capitalise on the popularity of video games to educate youngsters about hunger and the work of the aid agency.

Written for the PC and Mac, the free game is aimed at eight to 13-year-olds for download at www.food-force.com.

Neil Gallagher, WFP's director of communications, said: "Children in the developed world don't know what it's like go to bed threatened by starvation.

'Dynamic form'

"In an exciting and dynamic form, Food Force will generate kids' interest and understanding about hunger, which kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined."

Food Force was developed by Deepend, a computer design studio based in Rome, and game developers Playerthree in London.

Screenshot from Food Force
Make your way past rebel checkpoints to deliver food

The challenge for players is to complete a series of missions, guided by a team of WFP characters.

There are six missions, each beginning with a briefing by one of the Food Force characters, who explains the challenge ahead.

The player then has to complete the task - in which points are awarded for fast and accurate play and good decision making.

The missions range from dropping food parcels from the air to a Sim City type game in which players use food aid to rebuild the country's economy.

At the end of each mission, players are shown a short video explaining how the aid agency would have dealt with the situation.

Children can also compare their scores with other players across the world on the Food Force website.

The game will be available first in English, with translation into other languages planned.

Deepend's Mike Harrison
Good response from children

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