Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Release Date: 2006

Developer: Global Kids and GameLab

Ayiti challenges its players to manage a rural family of five in Haiti over four years.



Play the Game:

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Global Kids has established itself as an innovative leader in using online games to promote global awareness and engaged citizenship. Through the Playing 4 Keeps program, Global Kids trains urban youth to develop games about important world issues. This work has been cited as a best practice within Henry Jenkins’s report for the MacArthur Foundation. Global Kids’ gaming programs are made possible through collaborative relationships with the game design company Gamelab, UNICEF, and TakingITGlobal, among others. Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) uses online games as a form of youth media informed by international issues. Together with Gamelab, an independent game company, Global Kids developed an innovative curriculum for engaging youth in the design, development and dissemination of high quality games that have the potential to educate their peers around the world. Playing 4 Keeps is supported by Microsoft’s U.S. Partners in Learning Mid-Tier initiative. Last year, Global Kids Youth Leaders gained leadership, research, and game design skills while producing a socially conscious online game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life. The youth chose to design a game that focuses on the issue of poverty as an obstacle to education and uses the country of Haiti as a case study. The game and its associated curriculum were released through UNICEF’s Child Alert: Haiti website and TakingITGlobal’s network of over 170,000 educators worldwide. Curriculum material is available for educators. Since it was released in October 2006, hundreds of thousands of people have played Ayiti. The game and the after school component are being evaluated by the Center for Children and Technology.

Funder: Microsoft

Price: Free

Barry Joseph, [email protected]
Press –  Jonah Kokodyniak, [email protected]


  1. 9
    Tom Mowbray
    Total Game Reviews: 30

    Excellent experiential depiction of tradeoffs people must make due to poverty. Great integrated music and ambient sounds. Easy to learn and play; applicable to all ages.

  2. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    So much fun and addicting and it is very educational.

  3. 9
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    Definitely a game I want to play over and over- does a great job of getting its point across. I’d love an even more in-depth version.

  4. 8
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    The game is short and simple, but effective. It has very simple graphics, but they get the job done. Its goal is to show you how living in poverty is difficult, and it does a good job. I often found it frustrating that I couldn’t make enough money to send my family to the hospital or the kids to school, but it was frustrating in a good way. It gives people who can afford a computer what its like on the flip-side. I think it could do better at portraying the message it tries to send the player, but its good starting point. If I have one compliant it wasn’t very interactive and it was mostly a matter of click option, game tells you you’re out of money, click another button. I would play it for the experience, but it probably won’t be the game that changes your life.

  5. 0
    Go Leafs Go 17
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    It is impossible. I would recommend it be easier to live.

  6. 7
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    The game is pretty unforgiving if you do not plan well which I think that’s good for this kind of game. Overall it’s a fun game.

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