Big brother cut down to size - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
May 19, 2005

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Big brother cut down to size


Christian Aid is offering to cure young people suffering from the Big Brother syndrome.

All they need to do is visit ñ its special website for eight to 12 year olds ñ which will take them on an anti-Big Brother journey of discovery.

After a storm at sea, survival skills are needed to get the ëGlobal Gangí home safely. The only way back to land is by completing a series of tasks, including building a shelter, fishing for food, collecting water and navigating through dangerous waters. Swimming is not an option as there are whirlpools, high seas and monsters of the deep in the way.

The game is the antithesis to the Big Brother TV concept and its spin-offs that seem to dominate the small screen. Nobody gets voted out.

Sophie Shirt, editor of, said: ëInstead of voting out members of the group, one by one, the game requires respect and co-operation. The strength of the group is what the individuals bring to it. Success is dependent on team work and co-operation and recognition of what individuals contribute to the action ñ rather than forcing them to compete to win.í

ëThe game creates a sense of global citizenship ñ an understanding that we are all members of one worldwide community, represented by the Global Gang. The site aims to develop empathy between the player and children across the world. They all have similar needs ñ food, clean water, shelter, education, healthcare, and, of course, friends,í Sophie added.

Participants can score Citizen Points depending on how quickly they complete the tasks. The more points you earn the more hints you receive about how to complete the subsequent tasks. And the reward is great ñ you learn about basic rights and find out what you can do to make a difference. How does that compare with watching hours of Big Brother?

The release of the Citizen Ship game coincides with the new Big Brother series that starts 27 May 2005 and runs for 11 weeks. is full of stories and web clips of childrenís lives all over the world. The site also offers lots of home work help, and educational and entertaining games.

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