mtvU Unveils Finalists and Opens Voting for Best Video Game

mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, in partnership with the Reebok Human Rights Foundation and the International Crisis Group, today announced the three finalists in the mtvU Darfur Digital Activist competition and the launch of www.darfurisdying.com, a site where students can play the online video games, vote for their favorites and send them to friends. A vanguard use of video games as tools for positive social change, the competition is designed to spread awareness of the genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan and further empower college students to help stop the crisis. Students are invited to log on, play the games, and vote for the submission that holds the greatest potential to spread virally – and serve as a compelling call to action. The games will be available for play until voting closes on February 16th.

“College students are pioneering the future of activism and their Darfur Digital submissions represent a powerful and viral way to spread awareness about the genocide in Sudan,” said Stephen Friedman, GM, mtvU. “We’re proud to offer our network and this competition as a national platform activists can use to rally support for the dire crisis in Darfur.”

The finalists in the mtvU Darfur Digital Activists competition, representing the best of prototype games submitted by college students nationwide, are:

âÂ?¢ “Peace Games: Darfur” – Carnegie Mellon University: Camilla Kydland, Clay Reister, Albith R. Delgado, TJ Jackson, Sam Spiro – The player is a UN worker charged with distributing food to warring tribes and preventing conflict.
âÂ?¢ “Darfur: Play Your Part and Stop Genocide” – University of Southern California: Susana Ruiz, Ashley York, Mike Stein, Noah Keating, Kellee Santiago – A narrative-based game where the player, from the perspective of a Darfurian refugee, tries to survive threats from marauding Janjaweed and save his village.
âÂ?¢ “The Shanti Ambassadors: Crisis in Darfur” – DigiPen Institute of Technology: Peter Kugler, Thanh Nguyen, Katie Merrill – The player navigates desert terrain and avoids attacks in an attempt to drain the Janjaweed’s fuel supply and end their tyranny.

The games can be accessed and voted on at www.darfurisdying.com. The site is an extension of mtvU’s comprehensive Sudan resource center on mtvU.com, which offers news updates, critical facts and background information, ways to take political and humanitarian action, student photo journals, divestment options and more.
The results of student voting will play a key role in determining the competition’s winner when mtvU, the Reebok Human Rights Foundation, the International Crisis Group and leading student activists collaborate on the final decision in late February. Development of the winning game will begin shortly thereafter, in preparation for its official launch later this spring.

About mtvU
Broadcasting to more than 730 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of over 6.8 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are, through a three pronged approach – on-air, online and on campus. mtvU focuses on content including music programming, news, student life features, events, pro-social initiatives and more. For more information about mtvU, and for a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com.

mtvU Ã?Â?ber makes mtvU the first MTV Networks channel distributed in its entirety via broadband, streaming 24/7 and on demand, featuring all of mtvU plus exclusive new music, original shows and student-produced programming for college students and music fans everywhere.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 95 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About Reebok Human Rights Foundation
The Reebok Human Rights Foundation supports programs that seek to promote and protect human rights around the world, focusing on initiatives that generate awareness and motivate advocacy, particularly among young people. The Foundation funds the Reebok Human Rights Young Activist program to identify and cultivate high school and college students who demonstrate the potential to become effective social entrepreneurs and change agents.

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