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Game takes shock out of Brit culture

Ever wondered what lies behind the compulsion for young adult males to put traffic cones on their head and run down the middle of street naked? Or maybe you have cast a quizzical glance in the direction of the teenage girl staggering out of Abbrakebabra at 2am stuffing undercooked reconstituted meat products into her mouth while weeping uncontrollably about how Dave doesn’t seem to care?

Well, help is at hand though, thanks to a group of well meaning academics. A mobile phone game, called C-Shock, has been developed at the University of Portsmouth to help incoming international students come to terms with life in modern Britain.

British culture – the French might argue – is an oxymoron. However, certain aspects of life in the UK can be intimidating for the uninitiated. The game’s developer Nipan Manier, who, himself arrived in the UK from India five years ago as an international student hopes the offering will help visitors settle in more quickly.

Nipan said the game would act as an ‘e-mother’ or ‘mobile mummy’ for new students. “I found some aspects of British culture very novel, and certainly things such as interacting socially with others, say, in a pub were very different to what I was used to in my own culture in India,” he said.

The game itself follows an international student arriving in the UK for the first time and the aim is to reduce the character’s ‘culture shock’ rating from a default of 100 to zero by performing a series of tasks that introduce culture shock-inducing incidents and images.

C-Shock is in the final stages of development and is expected to be available for download from the University of Portsmouth website later this year.


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