"Real Lives is a simulation game developed by Bob Runyan and Ashoka Fellow Parag Mankeekar that allows players to inhabit the lives of individuals around the world. This game enables us to perceive the world through the eyes of another person within a context that is considerably different from our own and to undergo experiences that this individual is likely to have within his or her social setting, based on statistically accurate realities and events.
"Through the different characters and simulations that comprise Real Lives, players can experience what life could be like for a person living in another country in a wide variety of areas including education, employment, marriage, family, diseases, and natural disasters. As the game progresses, the character ages, and the game uses static graphics to convey information about the life of a character. Not only does the software use real-world data to determine the probability of events in the lives of the various characters, but all information regarding the country’s history, culture, and socio-economic conditions is also gathered from reliable Internet sources, to which links are provided within the game.
"Real Lives strives to foster and hone “the cognitive, affective, and communicative components of global empathy.” Through the simulations and the information provided, players are encouraged to make decisions or act instinctively and are also able to see what the consequences of such actions or decisions might be."
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