The Road Of Peace started out as a game called Global Espionage. DePaul students Jacob Anderson, Nicholas Esparza, Kevin Stich, and Anthony Zahnle envisioned a game where two players plotted against each other, and the board game they originally designed had two maps where neither player had complete visibility in where the next act of covert violence would occur.
But then Tunisia erupted, then Egypt ... . The team became engrossed in following the tumultuous Arab Spring. With Microsoft's Imagine Cup on the horizon, they wondered if they could turn their cloak-and-dagger game into an approximation of non-violent revolution. The result, a Windows Phone game, was somewhat rough when I saw a demonstration of it in June. It's now available as a retail download. So, if you're one of the few and the proud Windows Phone users, give it a try.
You will play as a civil rights leader in an anonymous Arab country. Your nemesis is The Despot, an equally anonymous Kaddafi-like figure. Your resources are your supporters, and each turn you are given choices in how to further sow dissention in the several cities in the region. Every turn is flavored by emotional news clippings, as you are given second-hand updates on how your followers fared. This 5-15 minute serious game has its flaws, but I'm curious what you all think of its merits.
Talking points: Is this just a glossy veneer atop an uninteresting board game? Do the cities react as capriciously as the advisors in MOO 3? Or is this a far more subtle game than one might think, where the rich archives and database tell a story that the game turns can't by themselves? How could social networking influence the story, and the game play, of this small but ambitious first effort?