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Online Youths Join Maccabean Army

In new line of 3D video games, player can be a warrior in ancient Judean military, or an IDF soldier in the 1967 Six Day War.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/4/2011, 8:54 PM / Last Update: 4/4/2011, 9:15 PM

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A new series of 3D computer games lets players take on roles of fighters from Jewish history, from ancient times up to the modern-day 1967 Six Day War. 

The game was produced by the grassroots Residents' Councils of Samaria and Binyamin, and is dedicated to the memory of the Fogel family from Itamar. It is available for play on the Residents' Councils' website
 
The Residents' Councils came up with the idea when they realized that there was no stopping children from playing video games. In order to educate youth in the spirit of Israel, a creative solution had to be found.
 
Virtual 3D, a firm specializing in 3D computer simulations and games, together with MyGames, created the historical war games that also let the players learn the topography of the sites of ancient battles.
 
In one scenario, the player is a warrior in the army of Ahab, King of Israel. Armed with a bow and arrows, he stands on the walls of a city in Samaria and helps fends off an Aramite army. In another, he is a fighter in the army of Judah the Maccabee, who is given the mission of sneaking into the Greek camp and stealing the sword of Apollonius. In a third, he is an IDF soldier in the Six Day War, participating in the bitter fighting in the trenches of Ammunition Hill. Yet another scenario casts him as a scout on a hang-glider, guiding ancient Israelites in their wanderings in the Holy Land.
 
Itzik Shadmi, Chairman of the Binyamin Residents' Council, explained the rationale behind the game thus: "In education, one sometimes needs to take roundabout routes to reach the target in a better way. The road may be longer but it holds promise for better results. Today's youths are surrounded by external stimuli that change rapidly all around them, and we must be aware of this."