Call them playstations with a higher purpose. Activist video games--which use whiz-bang formats to address real-world issues--are scoring high with both kids and teachers. Given the success of the U.N.'s aid-relief game Food Force (with more than 4 million downloads in 15 months) and the MTV-affiliated Darfur Is Dying (more than 800,000 players since April), techno do-gooders are proliferating, and gamers are saving the world.
Created by University of Denver students, this game shows the plight of migrant farmworkers as fruit-picking players encounter unfair bosses and bad harvests. MTV's college network, mtvu.com will launch the free game in October.