Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finally, a non-violent video game

A Buddhist game to help teach ethics 490 words 13 March 2007 The Nation (Thailand) English (c) 2007 Nation Multimedia Group Public Co., Ltd

Concerned about a news report of a boy attacking his mother because she refused to give him money to play online games, a senior officer at the Religious Affairs Department decided to create a game himself.

"Ethics Game", created by Pakorn Tancharoen, director of the Moral and Ethical Development Office works by using a principled game to overcome decadent games.
"It is impossible to stop kids from playing games or flocking to online-game arcades. So, let them play, but play good games," Pakorn said.

The game aims to indirectly teach players about morals, doing good and the five Buddhist precepts. When he first came up with the idea, Pakorn - who had never played online games and has no children of his own - decided to work it on it in secret, as he was not sure that his boss would go along with the idea.

He spent his after-work time at online-game arcades to observe what kinds of games attract children. "Most of them were about killing," he said. He then devised a game plot that includes four main characters: Dharmmahapanyo, an old respected monk; Charn, an orphaned boy who is mischievous but clever; Nu Na, a girl who is clever and kind-hearted; and Paloe, a big half-Chinese boy who was born into a rich family and likes to tease others, especially animals.

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