Friday, September 19, 2008

Cost of Life

This was part of my fifth grade lesson....if you have
not tried this game, check it out. My students loved it.

Ayiti: the Cost of Life - You control the activities of a Haitian family trying to get by, the experience is like Oregon Trail. Health, education, community service and just making ends add up to a compelling strategy game thats easy to play but hard to beat.

If you live poor everyone gets sick quickly, preventing them from working and incurring health costs to get well, which effectively spirals the family into a negative feedback loop that kills everyone. You need to keep the living rates at a decent level to keep the health profile going, but that alone isn't enough. If you help build up the local community center (run by Unicef, which also had a hand in producing the game) you'll get health and educational benefits more frequently. Volunteering also increases education for free, as opposed to paying for school in addition to not earning money.

Students have to think about math, education, working, health, happiness....character and balance. It takes time to manage but they eventually begin understanding the process.

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