I learnt that the game is meant to teach players about poverty in developing nations. The game emphasizes the opportunity cost that families in developing nations must bear if they want to get ahead in life. A family typically has to pick between health, education, happiness and money as the primary goal. The game shows me that you can never have it all and there will have to be a trade off when trying to achieve the goals set. It now becomes a matter of priority. For example, I had to choose who I would educate in the family and who the sole bread winner would be. The game shows me that In the developing world, families cannot afford to live a high maintenance life style and to afford luxuries. The basic necessities (books, home medicine, transportation to work) are important.
The game has helped rethink the importance of health in developing countries. Health is crucial for the advancement of a family and it must never be overlooked. This is because, if one’s health is lacking – as I witnessed in the game- family members are no longer able to effectively carry out their tasks such as going to work and doing a good job or studying hard at school.
I think that the role of happiness is central in this game and perhaps in real life developing world. Happiness is crucial for enabling the family to have positivity. When there is happiness, families in the developing world are generally more optimistic. Families will work hard to achieve objectives. Being happy in the developing world is also important for maintaining good health as when families are unhappy- as we h...
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... themselves. In short, you cannot have everything in the developing world. There must be opportunity costs and trade-offs.
There are other forces impacting the daily lives of the Guinard family that the game overlooks. These forces are crucial to whether the Guinard family can be prosperous or not. Some of these forces are: the kind of social environment they live in, what kind of government in the country etc. If the social environment around the Guinard family is toxic, they will find it very difficult to succeed. For instance, if a Haiti is at war and labelled a failed state the Guinard family will not be able to achieve this balance that the game preaches about. Health will deteriorate, the family will not be able to save much money, happiness will be nonexistent, schools will not be opened and they might even be forced to relocate if the situation gets worse.
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