On the Ground Reporter: Darfur

Release Date: 2010

Developer: Butch and Sundance Media

A photo-realistic newsgame following a brave reporter in Darfur.



Play the Game:

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When no one else is available to get on-the-ground reports from Darfur, you’re the person they call. Explore various villages and campsites to understand the people, explore the history and culture, and investigate the source of the hostilities in Darfur.

Created by Butch & Sundance Media, a cross media collective in Amsterdam, On the Ground Reporter Darfur is the first game in the “On the Ground Reporter” series (A Dutch-language only Afghanistan version has recently been released). This game was funded in part by Free Press Unlimited, an international organization that focuses on strengthening the capacity of local media professionals and NCDO, a Dutch advisory center for citizenship and international cooperation.

By creating a game that uses real “on the ground” footage and a narrative built on a point and click adventure game, players gain a first hand look at some of the root causes of hostilities in Darfur. And by exploring different areas in each level, players are invited to interact with locals and discover the history of West Sudan.  The information they uncover could turn into a rich and compelling news story. The game challenges players to make judgment calls based on their data gathering but also to put their lives on the line to find out critical details.

Online/Web (Free)

Free Press Unlimited, NCDO, Butch and Sundance Media

New Learning Times

TEDxAmsterdam “Ideas Worth Doing” nominee






  1. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    This was a great game. My Year 9 boys really enjoyed playing it and learnt a lot about refugee issues in doing so.
    Some recommendations from my students:
    "I would recommend hints, that if you get stuck on a tricky level and you have been exploring for a while, there should be a link to help you."
    "If I was formally reviewing the game for its Dutch producers, I would probably just make the recommendations to use the mobile phone to its full potential. In one or two situations, I was left having to look at the mobile myself or look around to talk to someone. If the mobile rang, some would be left less clueless and be able to proceed in a more efficient manner. I also think that having the multiple choice questions when talking to people could be used even more, to maximise the learning analysis and give gamers an incentive to read what is given to them."

  2. 10
    Tom Mowbray
    Total Game Reviews: 30

    Very interesting and educational about Darfur conflict and the on-the-ground culture. Moves fairly quickly and builds a sense of suspense, with life and death deadlines in some situations; it is a proper game to find the right people and objects to unlock the next steps in the story. Draws in the players and motivates them to continue the adventure.

  3. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    I give this game a 10 because it was very informational. It was sort of fun and easy to play but if you don’t play it correctly, there are grave consequences! Overall a great way to teach a subject from an interesting perspective.

  4. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    I really liked this game. The only thing I would change is to make it longer, I ended it too fast. It was great.

  5. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 4

    A very good and informative game when it comes to what’s happening in Darfur. It was a decent length of a game and could be somewhat confusing at times, but it still was eye-opening, espeically to people who haven’t quite experienced anything of the sort. It also includes the name of an actual independent radio station that still currently reports on the happenings in Darfur in both English and Arabic. The game had great real-life aspects to it and overlame the infamous "video game logic" (or lack thereof), such as when an English or Dutch speaking player would not be able to understand what was being said to them before they found a translator. I would recommend this game to anyone who asked and probably even some people who didn’t ask. This game would also be great in a classroom setting.

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