The refugee challenge: can you break into Fortress Europe? (Harriet Grant, John Domokos)

refugeeAs EU governments have made it harder to seek refuge in Europe, the flow of refugees fleeing the world’s most desperate conflicts is increasing. We invite you to make the choices real refugees have to make and find out what it’s really like to look for safety in Fortress Europe – [Author’s description]

[Play Online]


  1. I feel like this is a game that might benefit from some randomness? It seems like most folks who seek asylum don’t have that much agency or fine control over what’s happening, what with being at the mercy of these huge and horrifying systems that exist beyond reason or human decency. In this game I was able to think to myself: “welp, Sweden’s clearly the optimal choice here” and make my way doggedly towards it. I’m not sure that most of the time, that’s going to be enough.

    I can imagine something similar where everyone’s giving a random starting position (dependents, identity, money) based broadly on demographic data, and tasked with making it to europe: kinda like FTL but instead of battles, maybe tense negotiations? And when you reach the end of the journey you can see what % of people ended up where you did. It’ possibe I’m completely missing the point here though.

    My fave thing about this is that it manages to be super informative without feeling didactic, or pushy, or boring, and that’s pretty great. I’m glad this is a game that exists.

    • i think for a general audience they’re going to assume the safest level of basic game literacy. but yeah, i remember that one life simulator game where you’re born in any country in the world based on actual probability (?) of being born there, and it does a good job of simulating the random cruelty of those systems.

      • do you happen to remember the name of that sim? sounds interesting

      • I rocked the hell out of this game by taking 0 interest loans from family members and earning interest from the bank.
        The game always considered me poor -though I had billions of dollars- because it obviously didn’t consider either exploiting game features a career.

  2. Informative and well-constructed all around, and I especially liked the integration of short documentary capsules (acting as a form of reward, by design or not). Glad to see this featured here after spotting it elsewhere.