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Pipe Trouble not in trouble anymore

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s an online game that grabbed headlines across the country earlier this year, after some premiers felt it promoted violence against pipeline companies.

But Pipe Trouble isn’t in trouble anymore.

In March, TVO in Ontario withdrew a link to the game while a review was conducted into its content. That review eventually determined that it does not advocate eco-terrorism.

Meanwhile, the game has been developing a world-wide audience.

“The video game ended up being the first video game ever invited to the Cannes Film Festival. That was fantastic. It was part of their inaugural showcase of new media,” says developer Alex Jansen. Then it was presented at Games for Change in New York.

Plus, it’s available for mobile units.

“The game has gone from a free trial through Pipetrouble.com to a tablet version, available on iPads and Androids and now we have an iPhone version.

The game was designed to demonstrate the kinds of situations encountered by pipeline companies, including the prospect of sabotage, which critics focused on.

He still shakes his head at the controversy. “It has certainly been incredibly stressful.”

But he also believes the medium is extremely useful in reaching out to segments of the population who wouldn’t normally put much thought into energy policy in Canada.

“The average gamer is over 30 years old. We’re able to engage an audience that historically has the worst voter turnout,” he points out.

The game is meant to accompany the documentary, Trouble in the Peace, about the oil and gas industry in BC’s Peace River region.