With games like Divinity: Original Sin II and Space Pirate Trainer the #FlemishGamesIndustry has created some world class entertainment games in the last couple of years. We’re not quite at that level when it comes to serious games yet, but our development teams are hard at work in that area as well, resulting in mainstream recognition and news coverage.
The narrative experience Peacecraft (link in Dutch) built by Poppins & Wayne is the first video game to win a prestigious Henry Van de Velde design award (link in Dutch). The mobile game swaps out your smartphone for one of a refugee from the Middle-East. Players experience the perilous journey through a bunch of smartphone applications, such as social media and maps. With the phone as their only guide, players will have to make rough decisions – choices and consequences where actual refugees have to live with every day.
The goal of the game is to build bridges and offer perspective on a situation that’s hard to grasp. “By using recognisable social applications, we immediately made the story relevant to young people. Back home, the refugees also had BFF’s, lovers, football clubs and playlists with their favourite music. We tried to make it as easy as possible for young people to identifiy with this situation.”, explains Wim “Wayne” Wouters.
Three winning projects are now up for a Gold Award in the category Community. Poppins & Wayne also have a chance at winning the Public Gold Award, so you can support them here if you like (link in Dutch). The winners will be announced at the award ceremony on January 29 in Brussels.
Another game that made the news this week is Hospi Avontuur (link in Dutch) by Polygoat. This mobile game prepares children (aged 3-9) for hospitalisation and introduces them to the entire process. From packing their favourite toy, over the trip to the operating room to the discharge from the hospital. The game, commissioned by PXL Hogeschool and Jessa Hospital Hasselt and realised with the aid of CM health services, was picked up by national tv news (link in Dutch) and covered in a couple of national news papers. Who knows they’ll be up for an award next year?