Last week was the 5th annual Games for Change conference in New York. An interesting blog post to come out of that discusses the need to localise social issue games. In the post Suzanna Samstag Oh talks about creating a social issue game for Koreans, by Koreans, about a Korean issue. Why not just use an existing game about, for example, the global energy crisis? Because cultures are different and respond differently to crises. They have different social norms about public dialogue, being critical or collective response. Thus to get the most impact out of social issue, or serious, games, it is necessary to fully localise these to a particular culture.
The bottom line: South Africa will need it’s own serious games about xenophobia or unemployment or HIV/AIDS.