Czech Game Shows Difficulties in Escaping Ghetto

It’s not easy to break the cycle of poverty.

Building on the success of a board game designed to educate students about the challenges of living life in the poorer neighborhoods of West Bohemia in the Czech Republic, an organization known as Tady a Ted (Here & Now) has told Radio Prague it is planning to bring those lessons to the computer screen.

The board game, GhettOut!, illustrates the obstacles faced by the disadvantaged in escaping life in the ghetto. Tereza Zikova of Here & Now explains:

The aim is to show how difficult it is for someone to be able to change their life. Themes include problems of discrimination, dealing with authorities, children ending up at special schools, difficulties with housing, crime, and drugs. One should get a sense of what it’s like to live in constant uncertainty, and a sense that these problems are intertwined and difficult to sort out.

The original board game, Cesta z Ghetta (Out of the Ghetto), reflected life in the ghetto, placing an emphasis on personal motivation and a “readiness” to leave. Players try to gain the most help in leaving the ghetto, but just as in real life, such opportunities don’t come often.

The video game version will focus more on individuals rather than groups, and is currently scheduled for release via the web in December. An English translation is planned, and Here & Now says it has received interest both locally and internationally.

– Reporting from Canada, GP Correspondent Colin “Jabrwock” McInnes

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