Darfur is Dying is a web-based, viral video game that provides a window into the experience of the 2.5 million refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan. It is designed to raise awareness of the genocide taking place in Darfur and empower college students to help stop the crisis. Students at the University of Southern California, winners of mtvU’s Darfur Digital Activist contest, created the winning prototype. The game was developed in cooperation with humanitarian aid workers with extensive experience in Darfur. The content and the creative are woven together throughout the game, beginning with the first phase where the user selects an avatar to forage for water. Upon success or failure, they learn that their chances of succeeding were predetermined by their gender and age.
A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely (for more detail see legal definition). Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR if they formally make a claim for asylum. The lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The United Nations have a second Office for refugees, the UNRWA, which is solely responsible for supporting the large majority of Palestinian refugees.