How can video games combat socially engrained stereotypes while also being fun? Well, a company in Beirut, Lebanon makes it seem easy.
Game Cooks is a team of five developers working to alleviate stereotypes and promote peace. Their newest game, Run for Peace, is set for release in just one week and follows the adventure of a boy named Salim as he travels through the Middle East and brings about peace (a dream he had since the young age of 3). And what an adventure Salim has! Not only does he have to escape flying hookah pipes and hummus plates, but he also has to flee over oil fields and keep a watchful eye out for electricity factories. As Game Cooks’ description reads, “Enough of people speaking and negotiating about peace…Salim was running for it.”
Run for Peace will be released in English and Arabic in the Apple store with an Android version to follow. The gameplay seems fun and simple – tapping the screen to make Salim jump and double tapping to jump higher. How could it be anything but fun?!
An earlier release was the game Birdy Nam Nam, a game with a truly original premise that can only be done just by directly quoting the game’s description:
Early 2011, a group of Arab scientists in Dubai started experimenting a new drug on all kinds of birds; the drug was intended to turn birds into man’s best friend…They would clean the house, wash the dishes, do the laundry, cook healthy meals…Well simply make man’s life easier!
Everything was going well until something went terribly wrong, and the drug had a side effect which transformed those [chickens] into killing machines.
Without mercy, they fled the labs and started attacking Dubai, seeking for revenge. Their plan was simple: WORLD DOMINATION!
Clearly this is a creative company with fantastic ideas for entertainment. And you gotta love how they went from a game with a bunch of chickens seeking to take over the world to a game about world peace. How many companies can you think of that have taken such a leap?!
The one thing that hasn’t changed is the company’s main mission. Its overall premise is to create games that rooted in the Middle East and North African regions, creating “fun games with an Arabic twist,” and they have already done quite well for themselves with their first release, Birdy Nam Nam, which received a quarter of a million downloads and was at the forefront of the app store in all Arabic countries in just the first week.
KitGuru says: We wish Game Cooks the best of luck with the release of Run for Peace next week, and we look forward to seeing what they cook up next.