AP, New York - Colleen Long, December 13, 2007:
A new research lab at the prestigious Parsons design school aims to develop video games with a conscience - called "serious games" - and study whether playing them can be a force for social good.
The games, which aim to educate, appeal mostly to a niche market and are used to train public officials, students and professionals in various fields.
PETLab, in the first such effort in the country, will create models of new types of games or interactive designs that address social issues and will do interactive research on whether playing the games helps effect positive social change.
The lab is funded by the MacArthur Foundation and partnered with the nonprofit Games for Change, Microsoft Xbox and think.MTV.com.
[ Pictured: Parsons the New School for Design, New York ]