< Back

Chocolate and Change: Gaming for Social Justice



Think globally, game locally

Students in my Multi-Cultural Ethical Issues class studied the Millennium Development goals.

Two of them, Brandon and Tre, decided to create a game to raise awareness about the perils of the cocoa industry. Their hope was to educate their peers about the promise of fair trade as a way for both the farmer and the consumer to develop a mutual, sustainable relationship.

This text, from Martin Luther King's Christmas 1967 sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church guided our discussions and was the underpinning for the teach-ins that student presented to their peers:

"It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, affects all directly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can't leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that is handed to you by a Pacific Islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that's given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee, and that's poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that's poured into your cup a by a Chinese. Or maybe you're desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that's poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that's given to you at the hands of an English speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you've depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren't going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic face of the interrelated structure of all reality."

Excerpt from Assessing Students’ Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely

Creative Commons Licence