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Nintendo DS 'Wins' Nobel Prize

by Steven Rodriguez - March 24, 2006, 10:57 pm EST
Total comments: 14 Source: http://www.gamespot.com/news/6146623.html

Well, not really, but someone at GDC thought of a game idea that would win the Peace Prize.

One of the side shows at the Game Developers Conference is the Game Design Challenge, a one-hour long panel where three of the top game designers in the industry offer ideas for games on oddball subjects. This year marked the third installment of the event, with the task of creating a videogame that could win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Harvey Smith, designer of PC games such as System Shock and Deus Ex, won the crowd's approval for best game idea. The game, entitled Peace Bomb!, would require players to suddenly gather up a crowd and do something great for society.

The notable thing about the game concept is that it was specfically designed in mind for the Nintendo DS. In fact, it was the only design of the three entrants that was intended for a specific platform.

While Smith's idea for a Nobel-caliber DS game will never see the light of day, it's still noteworthy to see developers using the handheld as another way to get their ideas out there.


Smash_BrotherMarch 25, 2006

Did he mean in the game or in real life?

jasonditzMarch 25, 2006


Originally posted by: PGC NewsBot

While Smith's idea for a Nobel-caliber DS game will never see the light of day, it's still noteworthy to see developers using the handheld as another way to get their ideas out there.


Miyamoto just got done saying "you've got the idea, we've got the money".

My promise to Nintendo: Get this guy on board, turn this into a top notch Antiwar strategy-sim, and I will personally help you guys hype the hell out of this title.

mantidorMarch 27, 2006

This is nice, but what are the details of the gameplay? I suppose is not just to gather a crowd, right? I dont understand it.

jasonditzMarch 27, 2006

I'm picturing something like Bandit Kings of Ancient China for the NES.

Either that or a two-fold game approach: where you've got a rally phase that plays like an RPG with a certain amount of points to use trying to rally people, then a RTS style game where you have to keep your protesters from getting arrested and get them to accomplish their goal.

Obviously there's lots of stuff you could do with that

* infiltration by military intelligence or FBI provocateurs
* trying to keep the crowds calm while the police try to turn it violent
* maybe have a tracker along the top of the upper screen showing public opinion for the rally

CalibanMarch 27, 2006

To me it sounds like Pikmin at its basics.

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusMarch 27, 2006

Though our article doesn't make it clear, the game is not really a game. It's an activist's pictochat with online application, intended to encourage real world results (unless I'm seriously misunderstanding the whole thing. Anyone got a link to the text or audio of his actual presentation?).

jasonditzMarch 27, 2006

None of the articles make it clear that I've seen. Since the design contest was for a "game", its gotta have some game elements to it I guess. I'll ask around with the sort of people who should have access to that sort of thing, if it's indeed available to the general public.

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusMarch 27, 2006



Smith's winning idea, Peace Bomb!, was presented as a Nintendo DS game in which players create flash mobs--"crowds of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to do something notable and then disperse."

Specifically, Smith envisioned that the game would have a "subversive feeling to it" and promote peaceful insurgency projects.

Smith, who believes that flash mobs represent a kind of "social gaming," stated that his design was motivated by a desire to "engender that spirit of 'let's get together to do something cool.'" He further explained that by spilling into the real world, the game world would "afford players a higher sense of purpose."

Smith described his design as a "minimal graphics social network game." Smith also suggested that players could use the stylus to collect pe tit ions, practicing a kind of activism.

MySpace with a conscience.

jasonditzMarch 27, 2006

"social network game"

Where's the game in myspace?

I did just get a picture in my head of the end of V for Vendetta... where all the people of London are marching towards parliament in Guy Fawkes masks. Suppose the DS became that same sort of symbol of resistance to tyranny. Imagine the same scene, only instead of pulling off all their masks at the end, they all whip out their DSes. Tell me that doesn't make a badass commercial.

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusMarch 27, 2006

Have not seen V for Vendetta. Thanks.

jasonditzMarch 28, 2006

Or any of the commercial spots?

Since it was in every theatrical trailer and at least half of the broadcast commercials, it hardly seems like it qualifies for a spoiler.

KDR_11kMarch 28, 2006

Or any of the commercial spots?


vuduMarch 28, 2006

Aside: I didn't even realize EvanTBurchfield was on staff until I read his sig. Someone should really change his title.

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