Late last year programmers around the world were invited to share their vision of how mobile apps and games can raise awareness and enable new opportunities for intercultural dialogue. The winning applications were presented at the 5th UNAOC Forum in Vienna, Austria, since then several of the award winning apps/games have been fully developed and are now available for download.
Among the 5 Winners and 5 Honorable Mentions are apps/games allowing users to improve their knowledge of Arab culture (Ibn Batuta), to experience the world’s cultural diversity through the eyes of children (Touchable Earth) and to become aware of the global crisis for one of the most basic need: Water (Get Water!). Other applications highlight the importance of critical thinking in journalism (Reality, still in development) or invite young people to discover the rich multi-cultural corollary of contemporary Europe (Cultural Shock).
Ed Gragert, The Huffington Post, highlights that “these games are examples of how new technologies can provide global education content in an engaging and fun activity.” Praising “Get Water!”, Jordan Shapiro at Forbes, is intrigued by the effect of these apps: “These are some big human rights issues that Get Water drags out of the invisible shadows and brings into the light of discussion. I’m now having surprisingly sophisticated conversations with my two sons (five and seven years old) about the privatization and commodification of water rights while we swap devices and controllers on the living room sofa…all because of a video game.”