Red Cross teams up with online video game

The Red Cross has teamed up with makers of video game Fortnite to raise awareness about its work.
The Red Cross has teamed up with makers of video game Fortnite to raise awareness about its work.

While most Australians might associate the Red Cross with blood donations or bushfire aid, the group also works in the world's dangerous conflict zones.

The international aid group has teamed up with the makers of the online video game Fortnite to raise awareness about its work.

Australia's head of mission Leonard Blazeby says the organisation is hoping to find an audience it may traditionally never reach.

"We're hoping for people to have an understanding of the type of work that [the International Committee of the Red Cross] does," Mr Blazeby said.

Spearheaded by Red Cross workers in Switzerland and Thailand, the special mode on Fortnite will see players heal civilians, repair damaged infrastructure like schools, wrangle supplies and de-mine areas.

While video games may be commonly associated with shoot 'em ups, Mr Blazeby doesn't think the game will make light of the work Red Cross does.

"It's something that we thought about when we decided to move ahead with this and I think it's something that we discounted," he said.

Players would not be able to harm others in the special mode of the game.

It's set to debut at gaming conference Pax South in Texas on Monday, with Australian e-sports player Lachlan Power part of the performance.

Mr Blazeby said it was more about raising awareness than raising funds for the Red Cross.

But he also saw it as a way to grab the attention of those already in conflict zones or who may go to war in future; not just to be familiar with the Red Cross but to understand the laws around armed conflict.

He pointed to a recent Red Cross commissioned survey of millennials across the globe, which found armed conflict was one of their top five concerns.

Australian Associated Press