Raising awareness through online gaming

James Kon

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is raising awareness and support for victims of violence and conflict by teaming up with the Fortnite streamers Dr Lupo, Lachlan and One Shot Gurl to introduce the idea of the ‘Liferun’ mode to the global gaming community.

Streamers came together with the ICRC last Sunday at PAX South arena in San Antonio to play and introduce the idea of the ‘Liferun’ mode to the global gaming community, according to an ICRC statement.

The creative mode highlighted four core activities the ICRC is carrying out in its operations in over 80 countries. Players compete to heal civilians, rebuild essential infrastructure, demine and distribute aid as fast as possible.

With this creative mode, the ICRC has developed a completely new approach to reach out to the gaming community to try to spark conversations about its work in the world’s worst conflict zones. The ICRC is recognising the growing importance of the gaming community and trying to influence its understanding and support for people affected by conflict.

Fortnite players can access the mode through creative mode and the code: 1992-1013-9260.

The first game was streamed at PAX South and streamed on the following Twitch channels: PAX Arena.

The creative mode has been developed by Team Evolve, together with Wunderman Thompson, the American Red Cross and the ICRC.

Streamers will poll their audience during the game about their understanding of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the laws of armed conflict.

“We must engage the over two billion gamers worldwide. Video games have been mainstream entertainment and social platforms for a long time, and we know that many gamers are also current, past or future soldiers, army officers, armed group members, CEOs of companies, lawyers and political leaders. We need to talk to them in a smart and engaging way to explain that civilians suffer greatly in conflict,” said Director of Communications and Information Management at the ICRC Jennifer Hauseman.

Video games, Hauseman said, “Represent a huge opportunity to spread the word about the importance of the laws of armed conflict and how they are designed to protect the most vulnerable in conflict zones.

“This mode that we have co-developed is our first foray into creative modes on Fortnite.”

The ICRC has already partnered with the gaming studio Bohemia interactive for its Arma 3 series in the past to inject gameplay and messaging about international humanitarian law.

The engagement on Fortnite creative mode is a new attempt to engage with the gaming community about the work that the ICRC is doing in places affected by armed conflict and violence.