Developer Auroch Digital's first-person shooter Endgame Syria was created to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle in Syria, according to a post on GamesIndustry.biz from Auroch creative director Tomas Rawlings.
The struggle between Syria's government and the rebels seeking to turn it over has been ongoing since March 2011. Auroch's game is from the rebel perspective, exploring the challenges they face in "taking on a well armed state machinery." Rawlings and his team made the game in two weeks using Game Maker, working quickly and making changes as real-world events would unfold.
Rawlings and his team have been gamifying news at GameTheNews.net for several months, creating games formed around current events and aiming to help players understand them. Rawlings believes games are an effective tool for fostering awareness of situations like the war in Syria.
"Firstly they allow the user to interact with the flow of events, they are a great way to explore a dynamic situation with multiple outcomes as they let the user explore many paths in different ways," Rawlings wrote. "Secondly they are a medium that many people relate to as a primary media form. This means that for many people games are the natural frame they use to understand the world around them."
"We also hope that we've joined the ranks of other games that have been unafraid to take on serious subjects and cover them with sensitivity," he added. "If either of these are the case, then the risk of making something controversial rather than playing it safe and making games about shooting Nazis or grumpy avians will have been worthwhile."
Endgame Syria is currently available for Android and browsers, with an iOS version on the way.