The search for the intelligent mainstream gamer

Asi Burak has quite the task ahead of him. The Israeli-born, Pennsylvania-based game developer is trying to court mainstream audiences into buying his titles. His first effort, PeaceMaker - an astonishingly sophisticated simulation of the Israel/Palestine conflict, wherein players become the president or prime minister of either nation and vie for peace - earned significant press coverage last year, and was even distributed by the Peres Center For Peace. But Burak doesn't feel the game reached his ideal audience - "people who watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; politically aware, socially conscious people" - because, ultimately, PeaceMaker was seen as a videogame. And according to that audience, Burak reasons, videogames are dumb.

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