SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — People who play video games, so-called “gamers,” might hold the key to world peace and harmony.
Just ask the San Diego Diplomacy Council, whose mission is to connect the world for greater stability, peace and prosperity. The council is hosting a virtual event showing how video games could be a tool that effectively creates empathy, understanding and bridges between global communities.
On Friday, a panel of video game developers and experts will be available on-line, including Lual Mayen, a 2020 CNN Champion for Change.
Mayen is a 25-year-old South-Sudanese refugee who now creates empathy video games. One of the video games he created, “Salaam,” puts players in his and his family’s shoes. The mission: Escaping from South Sudan and living in a refugee camp in Uganda.
He will be joined by Rami Ismail, a Dutch-Egyptian independent games and tool developer with over 20 titles, who advocates for the creation of a fairer and more equal industry for developers everywhere.
“We know when you connect play, passion and projects amid of course their peers, they really succeed,” said Laylah Bulman, senior program officer with North America Scholastic Esports Federation, an organization that is already helping gamers from not only Mexico and the U.S. but Japan, Egypt, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Bulman says they are already seeing the benefits from young people collaborating on projects.
“We want kids to learn about each other, that’s how you get to world peace,” Bulman said. “It’s no different from what we see in sports diplomacy, see it with the Olympics, it’s a way to feel good about who you are but also to have respect for others.”
According to Bulman, NASEF will provide resources to students who want to pursue careers and other opportunities in the video game development industry.
She says the emphasis is on creating a generation of gamers who want to develop games that promote harmony and equality that will influence future world leaders.
Coordinating efforts are going on south of the border in Mexico City.
“We offer free contests, diplomas that are based on the idea of learning skills, we give them education and activities that will benefit them in every sense of the world,” said David Amaro with Anáhuac México Esports.
Amaro also sees the benefits of young gamers leaning and learning from their international counterparts.
“So when they have interaction, when they are playing with students from U.S. they realize they are pretty much the same as them, they learn about a different culture, different language, and they start getting positive ideas of the population of that country,” Amaro said.