Coming wave of video games could build empathy on racism, environment and aftermath of war

Mike Snider at USA Today: “Some of the newest video games in development aren’t really games at all, but experiences that seek to build empathy for others.

Among the five such projects getting funding grants and support from 3D software engine maker Unity is “Our America,” in which the player takes the role of a Black man who is driving with his son when their car is pulled over by a police officer.

The father worries about getting his car registration from the glove compartment because the officer “might think it’s a gun or something,” the character says in the trailer.

On the project’s website, the developers describe “Our America” as “an autobiographical VR Experience” in which “the audience must make quick decisions, answer questions – but any wrong move is the difference between life and death.”…

The other Unity for Humanity winners include:

  • Ahi Kā Rangers: An ecological mobile game with development led by Māori creators. 
  • Dot’s Home: A game that explores historical housing injustices faced by Black and brown home buyers. 
  • Future Aleppo: A VR experience for children to rebuild homes and cities destroyed by war. 
  • Samudra: A children’s environmental puzzle game that takes the player across a polluted sea to learn about pollution and plastic waste.

While “Our America” may serve best as a VR experience, other projects such as “Dot’s Home” may be available on mobile devices to expand its accessibility….(More)”.