By eroticfishcake 5 Comments
One of the more interesting educational games that's floating about the interwebz, Real Lives is, as the name implies, a life simulator developed by the chaps over at Educational Simulations. Considering the nature of the "game", there's no proper end goal to it, rather you just live life as best (or worse) as you can and see where it takes you. It's quite similar to other life simulation games such as Alter Ego, but unlike Alter Ego, Real Lives aims to accurately simulate your character development depending on a large number of factors like your country of origin, religion, language, socio-economic background and so fourth. With this, you really are in the character's shoes and that's what educates you as go through the hardships of that particular person in that one country you've known so little about. So a "game" like this is worth a look, no?
With this we're going with the Trial Version of Real Lives 2010 (the previous one being Real Lives 2007), the full version gives us access to a character creator that should drastically change our outcome but for now the Trial Version gives us one preset character to play with. So meet; Ketema Sarsa.
So here's the our current breakdown as we're brought into the world;
- So far my current stats are pretty good though our wisdom is non-existent but hey, what did you expect from a new born?
- My dad, Melesse is 23 years of age and works as a logger earning birr 912 (the currency) a month. He suffers from epilepsy and schistosomiasis.
- My mother, Elshday is 18 years old and does domestic chores and suffers from clinical depression, goiter and like dad, schistosomiasis as well.
- We speak Oromo and are Muslim. Which labels us a minority group thus attracting some level of discrimination.
- We're completely deprived of clean water, medical care and other important needs but surprisingly we're doing well with our simple adobe, sufficient food and a single radio. Furthermore, in relation to the rest of the nation we have a good income with our total net worth of 1,130 birr.
- Unsurprisingly, government corruption is incredibly rampant so we don't have much in terms of civil liberties and rights.
I suppose it could be worse really. We may be sick and living in a country run by foul people but on the flipside we're living a relatively happy and comfortable life. We do however, hit our first stumbling block;
Fortunately, that doesn't prevent me from learning how to crawl and walk like any other healthy baby and hey, I also get our first baby tooth at 8 months! Awesome!
Well, on the other hand my mother has been cured of her depression (odd given that I've caught a deadly killer disease at around the same time.)
Our second year is uneventful (for which I'm rather thankful in all honesty) except the year after when things take a hard left turn for nearly everyone.
Miraculously we've not been directly affected and furthermore my parents have somehow found the resources to breed thus giving birth to my baby brother, Ikangaa. Despite the deadly cocktail of diseases in our family Ikangaa is surprisingly free of all maladies. Still, hopefully this doesn't put too much a strain on our finances and time.
- My mother catches Hookworm and father get's injured at work but luckily for him it's nothing permanent. Me and Ikangaa seem rather happy so far though he does catch food poisoning but recovers eventually. Luckily, I don't seem to have malaria any more too.
Another bloody famine but again we're not affected. Better still, we're starting to attend school which is a real luxury for us!
I catch hookworm AND the whooping cough. In other news, a famine kills thousands more people but by some stroke of luck we're not affected again. Having said that, I get removed from school for whatever reason but our brother Ikangaa starts his education in turn. Since we're not in education and not qualified for anything I begin work as a beggar (earning 27 birr per month.) With more free time in my hands I play to my strengths and spend it reading/studying and performing religious/outdoor activities.
Fourth famine in my life. I barely notice and so does my family. We truck on and in the process my brother can't attend school any more and mother catches ancylostomiasis thanks to that hookworm of hers. Somehow I've got a feeling I'll be getting that too...as for father, I'm a little worried about his condition as well...
More in the near future.
Another interesting un-game that's been floating about in interwebz is Mainichi by Mattie Brice. I'm not familiar with Brice but from I've searched on Google here's what I know about her, she's a) a transgender and b) a game critic/designer. Those two elements already give Brice a rather unique perspective in life, particularly the former and with the understanding of the latter, Brice comes out with Mainichi (produced in the RPG Maker XV engine) whereupon you play a short role in Brice's daily routine. The activities themselves are mundane but the process of doing them in a social environment highlight the potential problems that people like Brice suffer from day to day.
It's incredibly short and it doesn't have a strong, political message underneath it but that's perfectly fine because that's not what it wants to do. At the very most, it just wants you do see things from her perspective and understand the unnecessary problems and hardships of a transgender person, or even people who are just different in general. It won't change your life but it's worth a look if you're the type to be interested in the LGBT scene and possibly, it's relation to games too.
If you've got five minutes of your time grab it off Brice's site here.