Cultural Recon is a game that teaches critical skills related to the respect and treatment of cultural property and antiquities in conflict zones.
It combines the popular elements of a first-person shooter (FPS) and role-playing game (RPG) to immerse the player in a fictional village in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The player must successfully identify sites of cultural heritage, rid the village of looters, and gain the respect of the locals– AND do so in accordance with the governing international regulations, and rules of engagement.
While it has the look and feel of an FPS, the game mechanic creates cognitive dissonance for the player. The player has weapons, but in order to win, he/she must resist the urge to use them.
This was initially designed for a U.S. audience, using open source U.S. military training materials, regulations, and Rules of Engagement. However, it could be adapted easily to utilize the UNESCO Protection of Cultural Property Military Manual for any audience.