FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Darfur is Dying” Already Played 2.5 Million Times
New York, NY– June 11, 2007–mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, with support from MTV channels in 128 countries, announced today at the 4th annual Games For Change conference that“Darfur is Dying” ( www.DarfurisDying.com)– a student-developed online viral video game offering users real world ways to fight the genocide in Darfur– is being translated into Chinese, Arabic and Spanish and will soon re-launch worldwide. Making“Darfur is Dying” available in these three widely-spoken languages will give an audience of more than 1.4 billion a new way to easily spread awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and take action to help stop the killing. The game was launched just over one year ago at the“Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide” on the National Mall and has already been played 2.5 million times by more than 1.2 million people.
“College students helped establish the crisis in Darfur as a front-burner issue for governments worldwide, and as the genocide continues unabated, we felt a responsibility to offer up this student-developed game as a resource for a much larger global audience,” said Stephen Friedman, GM, mtvU.“‘Darfur is Dying’ has already touched more than a million people and we’re proud to join with MTV channels everywhere to continue spreading the game’s message of awareness and action.”
Given the pressing nature of the ongoing genocide in Darfur, which has already killed more than 400,000 and displaced over 2.5 million, MTV channels reaching 128 countries and a total potential audience of nearly 370 million households have already signed on to help promote both the translated and English language versions of the game across on-air and online properties. Channels confirmed include:
o MTV Base (Africa– 48 countries)
o MTV Latin America (45 countries)
o MTV Asia (25 countries)
o MTV Adria (6 countries)
o MTV Italy
o MTV France
o MTV Portugal
The winning game in the mtvU Darfur Digital Activist competition,“Darfur is Dying” was developed by University of Southern California students Susana Ruiz, Ashley York, Mike Stein, Noah Keating and Kellee Santiago. The game is a narrative-based simulation where the user, from the perspective of a displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp. Humanitarian aid workers with extensive on the ground experience in Darfur advised the students throughout the development process, helping to ensure the game accurately captured and was sensitive to the refugees’ plight.
“Darfur is Dying” was designed to engage users and provide a window into the refugee experience– offering a faint glimpse of what it’s like for the millions who have been internally displaced by the crisis in Sudan. Calls to action are a fundamental part of the game and the user is presented with several opportunities during game play to become involved: write or e-mail the President, petition Representatives to support legislation that helps the people of Darfur, start a divestment movement, and most importantly, spread word of the genocide in Darfur to others. The translated versions will provide a“take action in your region” option, offering users worldwide access to localized resources and ways to help end the atrocities.
“Darfur is Dying” is housed on www.darfurisdying.com, an extension of mtvU’s comprehensive Sudan resource center on mtvU.com. The site offers news updates, critical facts, background information, profiles of student activists, ways to take political and humanitarian action, divestment options and more. mtvU’s Sudan campaign has been recognized with the 2006 Governors Emmy Award– the highest honor given by the Academy– as well as the Academy’s 2006 Community Service Emmy Award, and five Beacon Awards, cable television’s highest awards for public affairs excellence.
Broadcast to 750 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of over 7.2 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven 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 videos from emerging artists which can’t be seen anywhere else, news, student life features, events and pro-social initiatives. mtvU is always on campus, with more than 500 events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and for a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com.
In September 2005, mtvU became the first MTV Networks channel to also be distributed in its entirety online. The network is simulcast and available on demand at mtvU.com 24/7, featuring all of network’s on-air content plus exclusive new music, original series and student-produced programming for college students and music fans everywhere.
mtvU also owns and operates the College Media Network, the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the US, and RateMyProfessors.com, the Internet’s largest listing of collegiate professor ratings. The College Media Network comprises over 510 campus publications that serve institutions including Brown University, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University, with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students, reaching an average of 5 million unique users each month. RateMyProfessors.com reaches approximately 10 million college students each year, via the site’s more than 6.6 million student-generated ratings of over 1,000,000 college professors.
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 120 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, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 100 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.
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