My life as a refugee…

4 08 2012
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well not MINE per se.

I was just sat here trawling the blogosphere for pearls of wisdom (well, and bare bottoms – artistic expression you understand) – when I started to become more aware of a weird conversation at the kitchen table between Mrs E and second born (she of the brown eyes and inherited wicked sense of humour). Things like “do you (i) pay $10,000 dollars to a human smuggler your friend knows or (ii) $6,000 to one you find yourself”. Not the usual fare of breakfast conversations I think you’ll agree, so I took a closer interest.

It turns out it’s a rather clever awareness campaign from UNHCR. Mrs E had read about it on the Beeb’s website and downloaded it for her iPad. A pretty simple game, aimed at kids, where they make simple, but very real decisions that are faced daily by less fortunate people around the world. Do you become a prostitute, or take other illegal work? Do you hide your food or share it and make friends in the over-crowded boat? Do you stay in the boat or swim for it when the coast-guard spots you approaching the coast? Do you try and make it alone, or seek help from a local charity? It doesn’t often end well. Even when you choose to engage the UNHCR in your plight. It’s very down to Earth and “reality bites”! A good lesson in reality for the privileged youth of today.

It’s an impressively simple delivery of the message, and there are several different scenarios. There’s an attempt to pace the game in real-time too, to try and make the player “stew” on the consequences of their last choice. It’s easy to defeat this part, but that’s not really the point…

I liked it because the type of person (typically kids) with the technology to play the game in the first place are the least likely to have to face these very real choices… and also the ones with the most ability to influence those situations as they grow older. Obviously they’re good funding sources for the UNHCR too.

Check it out – powerfully simple. Available for iOS and Android.


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One response

12 08 2012
misfits' miscellany

Now that’s a good game.

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