Monday, December 24, 2007

Mission Monday: Do You Know the Cost Of Life?

Today is Christmas Eve, and so I wanted to give everyone a very simple and fun mission for the day. In fact, if the children in your lives are having trouble waiting for the actual Christmas morning, you can give them this mission! they will have fun and learn something to!
I found the link to The Cost Of Life game on the blog Dream As You Will Live Forever.
A group of high school students created this game in order to show everyone what it is like to live in a developing country and try to survive. In the game, you are assigned a family... a mother, father, two teenaged children, and a smaller child. the game is divided into sixteen seasons. Each season you must decide what each member of your family will do. Some people will have to work, and your family will have a better chance of survival if someone goes to school and someone volunteers with Unicef. But going to school costs money, and volunteering means that person won't earn money. Plus someone is always getting sick, and if you don't have enough money saved up to send that person to the hospital, they often end up with cholera and die. And if you do send the person to the hospital, they can't work, and you lose money!
When I played the game, my whole family died the first ten times. I finally figured out a pretty good strategy to keep them alive for the entire sixteen seasons, but I learned that for people in developing countries, survival is literally a crapshoot. One time I had saved up about $2,000 and thought I was doing great, but then everyone in my family became sick and couldn't work, and I ended up with $0.
It was also easy to see that, while we say, "Get everyone in school, everyone must go to school!" to the people in my little family, it was often easier said than done. At first I tried to keep the small boy in school at all times, but whenever the family cycled into poverty the boy got kicked out of school and had to stay home! Other times, when members of the family were too sick to work, I had to let the little boy work the family farm to earn a measly $85 that might keep his family alive a while longer.
Seriously, you need to play this game! Its addicting, and you will definitely, definitely learn a lot! And Christmas Eve is a wonderful time to play this game... while we are enjoying al of our bountiful blessings, your little virtual family will pass through their holidays with no money, gifts or feasts... but they often still manage to be happy.
Happy Mission Monday, and Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Casdok said...

What a fasinating game!!
Thank you!!