By QLD Generate
It is a typical Tuesday, four families are sitting making life-changing decisions about what to do today.
One family, receiving an income of $200 a day, are trying to decide if they should teach their kids to swim. It’s a quick and easy decision as they decide it is a useful skill that will only cost them $10 per person, an expense they can easily afford.
Another family are deciding if their kids can go to school today. They are a family who highly value education but in reality, with a $10 income, they can’t afford it. Their kids won’t be attending school today, nor any day in the foreseeable future. Instead the family resort to sending their kids to work for $5.
One family sits mourning the loss of their child. Just hours earlier their baby daughter had survived the game-of-chance that is child birth, only to be trampled to death in a political riot. The family may have one less mouth to feed for tomorrow but dealing with a family member’s death is emotionally much more challenging.
The last family consists of a lone father. He has recently watched his wife and children die around him. With his life at his lowest and no income coming in, he makes the decision to steal from the richest family he knows and fails. They choose not to press charges – no gain, no loss… just another lonely day to get through.
For many people these are decisions they face every day – luckily for our Generators this was just a simulated learning experience known as the ‘Game of Strife’. The game simulates the daily lives of people in developing countries. Each group took the role of a different family. The families differed between the groups in both income and number of members. The aim was to highlight the many complexities people face in getting out of poverty.
Generators Sophie and Lauren write of their experience of the game:
“Playing ‘Game of Strife’ made it really clear to me how hard it is to run a family on a very limited amount of money. The richer groups had much more choice in what they spent their salary on, and their choices were based on whim rather than survival. Poorer groups had to decide between clean water and whether the family would eat that day. The element of chance demonstrated how easily most of the family could be wiped out. It’s an unfortunate truth that many of the ‘deaths’ in the game could have been avoided if only the family could have paid for medical care, clean water etc. This game showed the reality of extreme poverty, and how little choice people living in these conditions really have.” – Sophie-Jane Huchet.
“It might be cliché to say playing the Game of Strife was an eye-opener, but it really can’t be described any other way. I was in the poorest group, with only $10 a day to survive off. We were forced into making horrible decisions, like letting half our family starve since we couldn’t afford to feed everyone, and passing up education in favor of safe water. It was the realization that people with this little money have no choice and absolutely no opportunity for change that struck me the most after playing the game.” – Lauren Robinson.