X-Life : Using Mobile Cellphone Technology as Cultural e-Diplomacy : Can Game-Playing be Useful as a Form of Education in the International Sphere?

4 BILLION cellphone subscribers worldwide. Incredible. About 4 times as many as Internet users. Now, that is an eye-opening statistic for this posting.

Having taught at a law school for a number of years, the LawPundit has a cutting edge interest in teaching, learning and education. So where is the future leading us in this regard and what media are best suited for the learning purpose?

At ABC News, via an ad at America.gov, there is a video at Ahead of the Curve interviewing Metrostar Games CEO Ali Manouchwhri regarding X-Life Games and Acquainting Cultures With Technology, in this case via the intercultural mobile cell phone game X-Life as a form of e-Diplomacy.

As written at the X-Life Games website in Launch of X-Life Games Heralds New Era for U.S. Diplomacy:

Mobile Gaming Technology Pioneers e-Diplomacy Outreach to the Middle East and Persian Gulf

RESTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

MetroStar Systems, Inc., a leader in New Media technology solutions for the federal government, announced today the much anticipated release of X-Life Games and its availability for free download on www.xlifegames.com. Developed by MetroStar Systems, X-Life Games is an English language mobile game that encourages cultural exchanges between Arabic, Persian, and English speaking cultures, demystifies American culture, and breaks down barriers that impede mutual understanding. Leveraging the latest in mobile technology, X-Life users in the Middle East and Gulf region will be introduced to American culture in a non-threatening and constructive manner.

Marisa Taylor writes at the Wall Street Journal blog Digits:

The game has two different role-playing modules, one in which a user’s avatar is a student studying abroad in the United States, and the other is a musician in a Guitar Hero-like scenario (Grammy-winning band Ozomatli contributed a song for the game).

Users win points by answering questions or solving puzzles about U.S. history and culture correctly, with the aim of getting users to follow their avatar to the X-Life Web site and chat with other users.“

Can that possibly work?

Read Taylor’s article to find out the whys and wherefores and how successful things have been thus far in the e-diplomacy game.

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