April 6, 2004
TORONTO – On the eve of 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide,
educational software company 23YYZee launched their website today.
Their new Interactive Documentary Pax Warrior begins pilot programs
in schools in May. The web-based multimedia narrative combines text,
images, and sound to tell the story of the United Nation's intervention
in one of the worst atrocities of the late 20th century.
The immersive narrative briefs students with the information that
would have been available to Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general
who oversaw the UN peacekeeping operation in Rwanda. The software
also provides access to archival news documents and primary sources,
along with original background articles.
"We're helping to say 'Never Again' in the most concrete way
possible," says Andreas Ua'Siaghail, Pax Warrior producer.
"The Rwandan legacy is such that it has forced us, as world
citizens, to rethink how we respond to humanitarian crises. What
are our responsibilities when faced with Genocide? We're bringing
this message of respect for human rights to those who will have
the most profound effect on our collective future – students."
At various points, students must make decisions about the mission,
based on news and intelligence that were available at the time.
They must research, consult with advisors and informers, and analyze
all this information to make diplomatic choices.
"Each decision presents a dilemma, giving students a chance
to stop and think critically, to explore not just the consequences
of their actions but to consider their values too, driving home
the complexity and difficulty faced by peacekeepers in the field."
says producer Sean Hopen.
23 YYZee has pre-licensed the full version of Pax Warrior for use
with more than 200,000 Canadian high school students, and is seeking
similar agreements with schools in the US, UK, France and Belgium.
It will be accessible through the Internet, which means it can be
used in the classroom, or assigned as homework.
Pax Warrior is inviting people to become involved with the pilot
programs and software testing.