My Life as a Refugee

The hard way of storytelling: how UNHCR tries to raise awareness for the hardships of refugees with a game.

You’ve got 20 seconds to decide whether to secure your son from the battlefield or go back and look for your daughter and mother. What do you do? With a free app the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) wants to raise awareness for the hardships refugees face when having to make decisions of life or death. In the game “My Life as a Refugee” users have to choose from three characters with different histories, all of them full of war and despair. They are then confronted with specific situations and have to make tough decisions.

Which smuggler can I trust? Should I look for a job in the city or register in a refugee camp? What consequences will my actions have? The scenarios and bitter fates allegorize the daily reality of millions of refugees. Hence, this game is about raising awareness of its users by emotionalising them. However, the app is not able to go beyond that point. The scenarios ought to stir up the user, but in large parts they are rigid and seem artificial. Although the app provides short background information and facts, it falls short of its educational purpose. The
bottom line is that “My Life as a Refugee” wants the right thing, but lacks a good implementation.

There is no update for the app since 2012. The website for the project is offline.

Digitale Flüchtlingshilfe

Wie Technologien Flüchtlingen das Leben und Helfern die Arbeit erleichtert.

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