Online Football (Soccer) Game Launches June 22 to Global Audience during the FIFA World Cup

June 22, 2010 • PMC in the News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2010

Contact: Katie Elmore
Director of Communications
Tel: 802-985-8156 ext. 205
elmore@populationmedia.org

Online Football Game Launches June 22 to Global Audience
World Cup Soccer Star Samuel Eto’o Joins United Nations ‘Breakaway’ Team

Breakaway, a new narrative-driven online football (soccer) game, endorsed by world-famous football star, Samuel Eto’o, hits the global gaming field of play at noon Tuesday, June 22 during the 2010 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa.

Breakaway is a project driven by the United Nation’s Millennial goals to end poverty and violence. Aimed at boys ages 8-15, the game is the first to tackle issues such as gender equality, fair team play and racial stereotypes all within the constructs of a fun and interactive online football game.

The episodic game, developed for the web by students at Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center in Burlington, VT with technical support from Population Media Center headquartered in Shelburne, VT, features a highly entertaining narrative and tactical electronic game platform that is designed to engage and educate youth. It is available for free online – play at www.breakawaygame.com.

Breakaway is geared to an international audience and offers English, French, and Spanish language versions, with other languages forthcoming. The first three episodes are also being distributed on CDs free worldwide via youth organizations and other partners. Additional episodes of the game will continue to be released through December 2010.

International football star Samuel Eto’o, currently playing at the World Cup for his home country of Cameroon. The striker for the Football Club Internazionale Milano, joined the Breakaway team as its celebrity spokesperson in May. He spent a day working with Champlain College students and faculty, and representatives from the United Nations in Milan, Italy to record interviews for game trailers, develop public service announcements for the game, and to model for his animated in-game character that will be featured in future episodes helping to train and coach players. When asked about the game and its meaning for players, Eto’o said “We can become champions on the pitch, as well as in life.”

According to the game design team, the goal of Breakaway is for players to “gain the upper hand against opponents with special moves learned through training with team mates! They will train with a true champion, play and run drills alongside Samuel Eto’o, captain of the Cameroon Indomitable Lions and command the soccer field as never before!”

Breakaway is a game experience that offers youth the chance to discover how to become a champion both on and off the field. The game offers an engaging and fun way to also develop successful interpersonal skills,” explained Ann DeMarle, director of Champlain’s Emergent Media Center.

The game is sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund.

Breakaway’s initial beta testing site garnered interest and players from more than 50 countries around the world, DeMarle said. The project, in development for the past two years, has since received attention from major news outlets and online bloggers and has been featured on online video game sites.

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MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BREAKAWAY DEVELOPERS:

THE POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center (PMC) works worldwide to bring about stabilization of human population numbers at a level that can be sustained by the world’s natural resources and to lessen the harmful impact of humanity on the earth’s environment. PMC uses entertainment media to change cultural attitudes and individual behavior with regard to health and social issues. To achieve this, PMC adopted the Sabido methodology, which uses long-running serialized melodramas, written and produced in participating countries in local languages. Characters are created that gradually evolve into positive role models for the audience. The audience forms emotional bonds with these characters, which can lead to positively influencing listeners’ attitudes and behaviors. PMC’s serial dramas have addressed issues such as: the use of family planning, adoption of small family norms, avoidance of AIDS, elevation of women’s status, protection of children, and related social and health goals, depending upon the relevance of each to the policies of the country in which PMC is working. www.populationmedia.org

CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE:
Champlain College, a private, residential college in Burlington, Vt., founded in 1878, has a long tradition of educating professionals for leadership roles by providing a high-quality, career-oriented education. Champlain’s distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain was named a “Top-Up-and-Coming School” by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2010. To learn more about Champlain College, www.champlain.edu

THE EMERGENT MEDIA CENTER (EMC):
Champlain’s Emergent Media Center, located in the Champlain Mill in Winooski, Vt., works directly with industry, public institutions and non-profit organizations to provide a laboratory/studio environment for discovering concepts, processes and application in new media and electronic games. It allows students to experience learning and become leaders in the areas of technology, media in real-life work situations. www.champlain.edu/emc

THE UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA):
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect. UNFPA – because everyone counts. www.unfpa.org


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