Sell Drugs, Make Money and Face Consequences

Margot H., Tyler H., Jessica M., Suzette P.

In this current version, the game takes place in the course of one day:
- Choose your neighborhood
- Choose you character
- You are sent to map
- Purchase drugs
- Go off and start your long drug selling journey
When you are on your way to deal, there is chance that you will face consequences.
The point of the game is to demonstrate that as a drug dealer, whatever you do, there is no "winning."

Every year, the United States spends billions of dollars to enforce the War on Drugs, whose goal was to eradicate the use of certain drugs through their criminalization; however this has not worked because people continue to consume illegal drugs. Besides the cost of enforcing these drug policies, the cost to certain communities is even more alarming, especially since minorities are more likely to experience the consequences of the War on Drugs. Countless families have been torn apart by incarceration, and live in the midst of violence and poverty as a result. What if all of that money was used to improve conditions, especially in the “bad” neighborhoods?

We wanted to create a game that simulates the drug trade economy, because it was most effective in demonstrating our point of view. The game shows that the drug trade is very much alive, despite all of the money being spent to hinder it, and that minorities are disproportionately targeted. Even though they distribute and consume drugs to the same extent as majorities, their likelihood of being incarcerated or killed is much greater.

The game itself, especially our prototype, is not enough to tell the whole story. We created a website where people can gain more knowledge and perspective about the topic, and where they can also get the help they need. The website also serves to explain the connection between elements in the game and real life.

A huge struggle for the actual game was making it appeal to people our age. We did not want our game to be reminiscent of those health textbooks from 1999; nobody takes them seriously. We had to reinvent our game from a role-playing game where your character is faced with the pressure to do drugs at parties, to a game that allows you to actively participate in the economy by being a drug dealer.

We started out designing and implementing the game using a tool, GameSalad as we thought Scratch was too simplistic. However, due to lack of time and a learning curve involved in using GameSalad, we had to switch to Scratch later. We had to work really hard to implement the game prototype in a short span of time.

When we first made the website we forgot to import a template into the code. When we finally imported the template we ran into issues, so we had to rewrite the entire code with a another language.

"I thought it was very inspirational, it's good for our social cause, your dedication was shown through the success of your project."

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at Synchrony.