japanese american internment: the video game

Wow. Researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a video game simulating the experiences of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II: Researchers' Video Game Puts Players in Japanese-American Internment Camps.

Drama in the Delta is a 3D role-playing game that puts players in the shoes of internees from a variety of perspectives. The game, a collaboration between UCSD's theater and dance department and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, explores two Arkansas-based internment camps and their surrounding areas:
In a prototype level available now (fair warning: some computer tinkering may be required to get the game up and running, and it works only on a PC), players assume the role of Jane, a 14-year old Japanese-American girl, who has been tasked by her best friend with retrieving items scattered throughout the camp before the friend and her family are sent away.

Other planned characters include a Japanese-American soldier from Hawaii, a Japanese-American girl who acts in a Kabuki performance, and an African-American musician from the surrounding Arkansas community.
The game is still apparently in its prototype stages, so they're still looking at the gameplay and its effect on users. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a really great way to educate and create empathy about the internment. To learn more about Drama in the Delta, go to the website here.

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