This is not grief porn, or the trivialization of an international refugee crisis. Kakuma is an umbrella for all stories of hope and despair, unfairness and wonder, discovery and loss that the refugee crisis has generated. 'Kakuma' will sit in the middle ground between journalism, gaming and storytelling.
Your journey will be inspired by real facts from real refugees, activists and experts, and may lead to the obvious and sad stories of smugglers, walls and refugee camps. But it may also expose the less seen story of profit-seeking NGOs; journalists who value manufactured stories over the truth and volunteers who are way too into selfies.
Drawing from games like '80 days', 'This War of Mine' or 'Faster Than Light', 'Kakuma: A refugee story' is halfway between the interactive novel and half the roguelike roadtrip; expanding current efforts to portray the experience of migrants.
You will scape from war, death and poverty; with every choice you make along the way changing your unique story. Discover a world where good and evil can come from the democracies you're fleeing to and the people travelling with you.
The main choice you’ll make will be choosing the next step in your travel, with real cities from all around the world; and the seas, borders, refugee camps and roads where the migran crisis keeps developing everyday. You’ll search for a safe haven while countries erect walls and fences, or change their asylum policies, forcing you to adapt on the spot.
You’ll have to be fast, but also careful: that safe haven can close its borders, but you have limited resources like money, health and mental health, as well as a children to take care of. But not everything are bad news: you’ll know of family and friends who will help you, and NGOs and organizations based on the real-life ones to make your trip easier.
'Kakuma: A refugee story' is an empathy simulator and will help you understand the situation of migrants. We want to be a platform for refugees to express their stories, their happiness and their grief, and for activists to share with a broader audience (and through a different medium) their biggest frustrations on how this crisis is portrayed.
At the very least, all money raised by the game in the upcoming crowdfunding campaign, as well as any revenue generated through sales once it becomes a reality, will be donated to refugee-supporting causes. Ultimately, Kakuma is a test. I would like to know if games are capable of changing lives, and if they can be tools for empathy and identification.