development media poverty technology websites

The Cost of Life

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I don’t suppose I’ll get to post this sort of thing very often, but I was reminded of this great little game the other day. ‘Ayiti – The cost of life‘ is a simple but engrossing online flash game about life below the poverty line. You have a little family, and you can send them to work, to school, or buy them things. You try to keep them alive, fed and happy, while sickness, hurricanes and robbery conspire against you. It’s cute, but it’s also distressingly real. was developed by Unicef, along with the innovative Gamelab, and I think it demonstrates the challenges of poverty very well, not least because when you start it seems impossible, and after a couple of tries you begin to work it out. Unicef never need to drive their point home, it’s there for you to discover it yourself. Anyway, you can play it here and it’s well worth a game or two on a rainy day, and give me a shout if you get stuck!


  1. Pingback: blog
  2. Thanks so much for highlighting the game! Just to be clear though, while Unicef hosts the game, it was produced by Global Kids (, in an afterschool social gaming program called Playing 4 Keeps. In the program, high school students worked with Gamelab to produce, vision, research and test the game, and UNICEF very generously got involved to host both the game and the accompanying curriculum.

    Rafi Santo
    Virtual Community Manager
    Global Kids

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