Food Force/Design Document

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Contents

Food Force: Escaping Poverty

Background

Since video games were first developed in the 1980s, trading games have always proven to have been very popular. These can be simple, text-based games with limited graphics or more elaborate versions. They are easily adapted to various story-lines, from trading with 18th century clipper ships to inter-galactic empire-building.

Concept

A game set in a village on Sheylan, picking up from where the original Food Force game’s Mission 6 leaves off. The objective is to enable the village to “escape poverty”, i.e. to develop nutritional self-sufficiency and beyond subsistence farming. The player must grow food and trade surplus with other villages in order to first achieve a balanced diet – there would be scope for extensive nutrition education. The player can also obtain food by working on WFP food-for-work schemes; sending children to school-feeding schools, etc. Once nutritional needs are covered, the trading element of the game can grow to extend to other commodities, such as fertilizers/pesticides, medical supplies, livestock, building materials, etc. Random variables such as drought affect food prices and the rate of development.

Players keep playing to reach as high a score as possible, in doing so; certain criteria are met, for example • Production of enough food to cover nutritional needs and trade surplus for other food / agricultural aids • Infrastructure is in place, i.e. roads, toilets, safe houses • School and hospital have been built

Gameplay continues as the player is able to keep trading and build up their score. Setbacks (whereby WFP can highlight the reasons for poverty – environmental/man-made) can cause the player to lose their standing (just like landing on a snake in snake’s and ladders) or can jump forward perhaps if they receive a donation or grant. The game has no upper limit (no end to the snakes and ladders board) – it will last as long as the player is motivated to play. High score charts and comparison with friends have proven to be very good motivators.

Lessons

This game would require strategic thinking, mathematical skills, planning abilities and decision-making.

The game would also contain underlying nutrition lessons throughout.

Message

“WFP helps the poor break out of the poverty trap through targeted food aid.”

BREAKING OUT OF THE POVERTY TRAP Over 90 percent of the world's hungry are prisoners of poverty. They are too poor to buy enough food. They spend all their time and energy trying to survive. WFP's innovative projects not only put food on the tables of the weakest and poorest: jobless mothers, school children, landless farmers and HIV orphans. They also help the hungry to secure food and an income by themselves, so they can break out of the poverty trap and build sustainable future. www.wfp.org

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