Latest News from the DRC

July 2008: Attack in DR Congo's gorilla park
Two people have been killed and three injured in an attack in a park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a United Nations-backed radio station says. Radio Okapi says a vehicle belonging to the environment group WWF, which was carrying 11 people, was ambushed by gunmen in Virunga National Park

March 2008: Guns, gorillas and blogs
A Ranger was killed and another was wounded in an attack yesterday near Kabaraza carried out by the Mai Mai rebels. I learned this late yesterday. The Rangers were on patrol and were ambushed by the Mai Mai rebels, who are fairly dominant in this area just north of Rutshuru. During these tense times anything can happen. And this just goes to show it

March 2008: Ranger held over gorilla killings
A senior wildlife park official in Democratic Republic of Congo has been arrested amid claims that he organised the killing of rare mountain gorillas

February 2008: Rare cooperation to save gorillas
Three countries have come together for the first time, to try to save the mountain gorillas of central Africa

January 2008: The world of mountain gorillas
The Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park and the surrounding Virunga volcanoes region are home to more than half of the world's population of mountain gorillas

Latest News on "Silverback"

Silverback featured on National Geographic
National Geographic: Gorilla Murders

BBC TV features Silverback
BBC World TV: Fast Track

Free game hopes to save gorillas
BBC News Online: Technology

"The World" (BBC/NPR Radio) three minute news piece on Silverback, gorillas and the conflict (mp3 audio, 3 mins, 2Mb)

Mobile Gaming for Gorilla Conservation

Silverbackers: Mobile Game in Support of Gorillas/DRC Crisis


Mobile Gaming for Gorilla Conservation
Smart Mobs

Mobile Game to Help Save Embattled Gorillas in The Congo

Featured Game Review

I am a Gorilla
By Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games

"Clark Boyd interviewed me the other day for a piece on BBC's The World radio program which covered a mobile game supporting gorilla conservation. The game, called Silverback, is a cute, involved J2ME title in the platformer-adventure game genre. It turns out the game was actually created back in 2003 by kiwanja, and this is a re-release for the benefit of Fauna & Flora International. You can download the game free over-the-air, although A £5 donation is requested.

Unlike so many advocacy games, Silverback is actually pretty good! The player takes the role of a young gorilla facing challenges from youth to adulthood. There are a good dozen levels and the game is both challenging and well-designed for the handset. As I've argued before, one of the powerful features of games is their ability to let players take on a role and experience a life constrained by the rules of that role. Silverback does an admirable job of putting the player in the fur of a gorilla, even constrained to the tiny graphics of a mobile device"

Dr. Ian Bogost is a videogame designer, critic, and researcher. He is Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues

Further Resources