© UNHCR

Against All Odds

“Imagine if this were you” – with this game students from around the world can trace a refugee’s reality from their computer.

Although flight and asylum are dominant topics in current German news, they are not particularly new. This is why the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a game called “Play Against All Odds” in 2005 already, which can be utilized in schools to vividly illustrate the topic.

The students create an account under their own name and choose a character. From war and conflict, via fleeing through the borderlands, to adapting to a new life, they can play through a number of stations of a refugee’s journey. During the game they will be confronted with uncomfortable decisions: Will I give up my rights? Will I help others despite time pressure and danger to life? – The whole process is complemented by background info and a teacher introduction.

The game is designed to build knowledge and sensitize: a task which it accomplishes well. Players quickly identify with their chosen character. Thanks to 12 different language options, the program is available to students in many countries. Unfortunately, the game is in need of some updates. More current background info and a mobile version would be a great addition.