The winner of this year’s Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest, addressing the theme Video Games in the Crosshairs, is “Future Warfare III” by Ani Akpan of the Bronx, NY. Using dazzling visual effects, Akpan thrusts the viewer into a near-future society where gaming approaches virtual reality and Big Brother takes a hard line stance, spurring gamers to speak back.

“I chose (…) to defend why video games are important because they really are an essential part of many people’s lives,” Akpan said. “Games provide a means of escape from the real world into one experienced by the player.”