FOOD FORCE is a free, simulation to teach students about the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis.
Today is Canada’s Thanksgiving and I’ve found what I think is a suitable offering for a day when we should consider not only about our own abundance and good fortune but the plight of those people who are suffering from hunger and privation.
It can be difficult to describe hunger to someone who’s never been hungry or elaborate on the difficulties of helping people in places like Somalia or the Sudan for those who’s never been there. That’s where technology such as today’s offering – FOOD FORCE – can help. It’s a computer simulation developed by the United Nations World Food Program which tries to provide an appreciation of the challenges and difficulties faced by humanitarian workers when responding to emergencies like typhoons, tsunamis and drought around the world.
This simulation is set a fictitious island called Sheylan which has been ravaged by drought and war. Tens of thousands of Sheylan’s residents have been displaced and are in urgent need of food aid. FOOD FORCE Players must complete 6 missions in which they must deliver emergency supplies by helicopter, air drops of truck convoys while dealing with challenges such as rebel groups, weather, and terrain.
FOOD FORCE is not an online game. Instead, it is a free, downloadable program with version for Mac and Windows. Because it’s been around for a while, there may be problems installing it under the latest operating systems. Older computers/systems will have no problems.
In terms of game play, there’s no mistaking FOOD FORCE for “Grand Theft – Auto”, or “HALO” but what the simulation lacks in terms of action or graphics, it more then makes up for in problem solving and engagement. For example, one of the missions requires the user to create aid packages which are a balance between nutritional needs, local diet and total cost. Users must combine essential commodities such as rice, beans, vegetable oil and sugar to create a balanced and nutritious diet for Sheylan’s inhabitants, on a budget of just 30 US cents per person per meal.
Bottom Line? I like FOOD FORCE. While it does look a bit dated compared the latest game offerings it’s still enjoyable to play. The learning curve is relatively flat and game controls are easy to decipher. There is quite a bit of talking but that’s understandable as the game characters try to explain the background and context for each of the game scenarios.
FOOD FORCE is a free download and no registration is required.
You can take a look by going to
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