“Four years after the earthquake, how is Haiti rebuilding itself? If you were part of the process, would you be able to make the right choices? Find out with this multimedia interactive story.”
For this assignment, I chose to analyze the the interactive newsgame story ReBuilding Haiti. In this interactive narrative you must take part in helping rebuild Haiti after their devastating earthquake in 2010. This story takes you through the four years of reconstruction they went through to see if you make the right choices.
The story starts off with a prologue to give you context of the situation you’re in. The scars of the earthquake have been removed from Haiti but national problems the country has always faced still linger.
From this point in the story you are told that you will be challenged at the end of each chapter with a dilemma, emulating what the real citizens of Haiti had to face in the earthquake’s aftermath.
“Rebuilding Haiti is a matter of choice – often difficult ones. If you were in charge, what would you do? At the end of each of this story’s chapters, you will face a dilemma – all your decisions will have consequences. And the piece’s final part will take you in 2020, where you’ll be able to see the future you have built for Haiti.”
This is the first dilemma you come across. I chose to “grant access to health for all.”
I’ve run into my first obstacle. The game puts me in a situation the real leaders of Haiti have faced. I must redirect my plans due to the facts.
The game continues in this manner through the different chapters, each chapter tackles a certain problem that Haiti is facing and you must try to make the best choices you can. Results aren’t always good, because even if you try to do the right thing you can end up making some audiences mad in the process. Here’s a couple examples of other dilemmas I had to navigate through.
In one situation, I tried to control rapid unregulated urbanization but the result did not go so well.
In another situation, I actually handled a Cholera outbreak well by hiring French workers to help the country, the cost was expensive but it worked for the people.
In a third situation, I tried to provide free rice to the country, to aid the poor that needed the supplies, but the results put the country in a worse position.
At the end of the story, you are told how Haiti has recovered over time and the story wraps up. You are left with one final decision:
I chose to come back to the country and experienced a final ending that describes how an actual Haitian might feel trying to return to his homeland with dreams of a better future.
This interactive storytelling narrative really does give you a personal experience that a normal story can’t do by itself. The chapters of this story take you through the lenses of different perspective on different problems, which makes the story even more dynamic. The aspects of playing through this narrative like a game, to emulate what the real people of Haiti had to go through, is very effective.
The most important aspect of this game is that you must always faces the consequences of your choices throughout the story. This aspect perfectly demonstrates just how complicated it really is to rebuild a country during the aftermath of disaster. You’ll see some successes along the path, but sometimes your best intentions are met with dire results, just like real life.