You can't escape the nitty gritty details of humanity in forensics. From the personal aspects in interp and oratory to the political impacts in extemp and debate, the core of our conversations boils down to understanding the human condition. True, it is messy and complicated, but that is also what makes the activity so thought provoking.
Perhaps it is the intersection of the personal and the political that makes the game, Riot, an interesting topic of discussion. A small team of game designers in Italy are working to produce a "a detailed and polished simulator based on the actions of real riots happening around the world." The simulator would allow players to choose whether to play as rioters or police. They are soliciting funds on Indiegogo with the hopes of releasing the game on iOS and Android - then eventually for PC and Mac. According to the creators:
"The main purpose of this project is to create a game that will get people to be interactive with two opposing forces during clashes between rioters and police while showing the moral aspects and viewpoints of both sides."
The game has sparked interest amongst a handful of gaming sites such as Kotaku and IndieGames. While the Indiegogo page lists "a way to visit and observe the various riots and manifestations happening in our world today," as one of the objectives of the fundraising campaign, details about *which* protests they are targeting are sparse.
What do you think? By stating that the purpose of the game is to show the "moral aspects and viewpoints" of rioting, do you think the game can effectively move from entertainment to education? Or is it simply a game of violence and strategy with an interesting twist? Given that the game is based on real events, what does that mean for the people and politics on which it is based? While 8-bit characters may evaporate in the game, rioting can have far greater consequences in the real world.
Check out the official game trailer above and see it for yourself. Whether you need a conversation starter or an example for a speech, Riot is sure to draw some attention.