What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Endgame: Syria is a "news game" that attempts to help players better understand a current event through interactivity. Presented from the side of the rebels in the current Syrian conflict, the game's card-based action involves political and military movements, with players choosing whether to earn support from sources such as foreign diplomats and exiles and how to deal with attacks by the country's regime. Violence is described in general terms ("civilian tragedy!") rather than depicted via imagery, but the ideas at play here are fairly mature and best suited for older kids with a basic grasp of world politics.
What kids can learn
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
- collecting data
Responsibility & Ethics
- making wise decisions
Engagement, Approach, Support
Endgame: Syria connects players to events currently happening in Syria. It's not particularly pretty, and can be dry and convoluted, but it will prompt kids to engage with its subject.
There's plenty of information here for players to absorb, but it's all embedded in the experience, presented in card and message form. Note that it was designed to present only the rebels' side of the conflict.
The developer's website provides links to all of the news stories used to inform the game, and supports a vocal community of players interested in discussing the game -- and its subject -- in detail.
What's it about?
ENDGAME: SYRIA is a browser-based virtual card game based on events that are, at the time of this writing, currently taking place in Syria. Designed as a \"news game,\" it draws information from reputable news sources to create a simulation of the challenges faced by Syrian rebels as they attempt to topple the Assad Regime. There are two phases: Political and Military. During the former, players attempt to gain support by playing cards that represent actions such as foreign diplomats speaking out against the regime, exiles donating cash to their cause, and high-level government defections. In the military phase, players deploy cards depicting militia, civilian vehicles equipped for war, assassins, and other war assets. Each turn sees support for the cause grow or wane, as well as showing the effect an occurrence has on events, such as civilian tragedies and loss of the country's culture and heritage. The goal is to either depose Assad or reach a satisfying peace, but defeat or a tenuous peace are quite possible, too.
Is it any good?
Endgame: Syria isn't fun so much as it is informative. There are a few too many numerical card statistics to try to understand and keep track of, especially for a game that lasts under half an hour from beginning to end. Plus, it's often difficult to discern why some events and changes in support happen.
However, the game achieves its objective of giving players a better understanding of what the Syrian rebels are up against. Each turn, players read descriptions of cards and events that inform them of the ways in which Syrian rebels achieve and lose support, such as satellite intelligence and diplomatic maneuvers, as well as how regime and rebel forces stack up against each other. And with multiple possible outcomes -- many of them less than optimal -- players will come to understand what's at stake in this conflict.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about world affairs. What's happening in the world right now that interests you? Is there anything going on that especially concerns you, or a cause you'd like to become part of in some way?
Families can also discuss Syria in particular. What do you think of what is happening in this war-torn country? Did playing this game help you to understand what is happening?