Call to Arms 2008 - “Peace”
A game of interactive vignettes set in and around Gaza, showing several different non-chronological perspectives in 1st person, not unlike Call of Duty 4: a Palestinian child throwing rocks at a tank, an Israeli soldier on patrol, a paramedic, a Western journalist, and others…
It begins and ends with a suicide-bombing in a cafe. The first time you are a mother with her daughter. The second time, you are the suicide-bomber. Cut to black at the crucial moment, or fade if you walk away.
Open on a crowded cafe. You are sitting in a wooden chair on the far side of the room, sunlight hitting the checkered floor through the door behind you. Still morning. You gently sip your coffee. Next to you is a little girl playing with the ice cubes in her empty glass. With the glass in her hand she looks up and smiles.
You pat her on the head.
There’s a half-eaten sandwich on a plate in front of her, with little teeth-marks.
You gesture towards her to eat the rest of it. Reluctantly she takes a bite.
She freezes. When you turn to follow her gaze and look behind you, you see a man enter the cafe. In his hand is a small device. You turn to your daughter and hold her. The man screams something.
CUT TO BLACK
Putting the player in the shoes of different characters might inspire some empathy for the people actually living through this conflict and reflect on the grief it causes to both sides.
Gameplay varies with each perspective: mother interacts affectionately with her little girl, kid tries to throw as many stones as possible without getting hit by stray bullets, paramedic tries to keep a bombing-victim alive for the duration of an ambulance ride, soldier explores cautiously, journalist tries to get coverage of a shoot-out without getting killed, and so on…
Would be a fairly linear affair, with specific interactions up to the player. There should be choice when it matters, but never transparently so. The player should do what he thinks he has to within the confines of the game mechanics rather than press A for ending 1…
The game should be no more than 30 to 60 minutes long so as not to diminish its impact. The Nintendo Wii could be a good platform as it’s shown itself well-suited to extremely varied interactions, though more conventional control-schemes could also apply and some degree of production value would be necessary to sell the character empathy.--Christiaan Moleman