Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Life skill simulator

Teach inmates how to survive in the 'real' world
  (+6, -4)
(+6, -4)
  [vote for,

Most people who commit crimes are poor. Frequently, this poverty is due to a lack of basic life skills such as time management (setting an alarm to get up on time for work) and money management (budgeting). Create a computer game similar to The Sims for people lacking basic life skills. Start their Sim off with a minimum wage job and one-room apartment. As they progress -- show up to the job on-time, perform simple tasks -- they get raises and become eligible for more interesting, higher paying jobs. The salary they earn could to be spent on rent, food and other items in the Sim world. More money will get them better apartments, cars, clothing, etc. They will have to budget appropriately or their Sim suffers the consequences. If they don't budget properly they might lose their apartment and, eventually, their job until they end-up in Sim prison. At that point, they lose and have to start over. Deploy the game clients and server on a closed network within the prison or even a VPN among several prisons. The game could also be useful outside of prison for teens in at-risk neighborhoods.
seanasy, Dec 09 2006


       //Most people who commit crimes are poor.// You mean, Most people who commit crimes, AND GET CAUGHT, are poor. I don't like how you are stereotyping poor people. I'm poor. My wife works full time as an elementary teacher, I work part-time as a musician (and I get paid pretty good for the hours I work), and i'm looking for a full- time job to go with it. All this money coming in you would think that we would be alleviated from our poverty.   

       $600,000 median price for a 3 bedroom house here. $1000/month renting a 1 bedroom appt. No, I don't live in a city, it's out in the countryside. +10% for all goods. Milk is $6 / gallon. I live in a 12' x 18' converted carport, no bathroom or kitchen.   

       If I had my way I would arrest all the prospecters for unnecessarily creating poverty.   

       Don't pin it totally on poverty. Most of us are just victims. Try looking into how many people in prisons have dislexia, you might be surpised.
twitch, Dec 09 2006

       I'm not stereotyping poor people. There is a big difference between saying "most people who commit crimes are poor" and saying "most poor people commit crimes." I said the former. You read the latter. Similarly, I didn't say "no non- poor people commit crimes."   

       There is a lot or research linking poverty and crime. (Search scholar.google.com for "poverty crime"). It's really not controversial.   

       I've talked to people who work in low- income areas who say that most kids coming out (or dropping out) of high school can't keep a job simply because that don't have an alarm clock and don't understand the importance of showing up on time. It's a basic skill that most people teach their 8 year olds.
seanasy, Dec 09 2006

       Sometimes people do what they do so they can survive in the real world. That being said, no stupid video game will teach somebody how to live a better life, just as no matter how much TEKKEN I play I won't become a world champion fighter.
Chefboyrbored, Dec 10 2006

       I admit many of us americans do take for granted our freedoms. I, having lived in a 3rd world country for a couple of years, do understand that we have it good, and yet we are arrogant and don't like to pay our taxes (does anybody?). Poverty is more than an economic condition, it is a state of mind where hopelessness is common and frustration is everyday.   

       I actually thought that this idea was to teach prisoners computer skills that they have missed out on when in prison. This would make much more sense.   

       I can't say what the best way to rehabilitate prisoners are, but what I don't agree on that is happening in the USA is the privatization of prisons. Meaning, that before the obligation of rehabilitating inmates comes: Money.   

       I would hope that the USA take the simple advice of: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
twitch, Dec 10 2006

       I like it. If you made it sufficiently 'immersive' it might have a positive effect. It might also be more effective if coupled with other educational programs within the prison.   

       A twisted use of this would be to tie success in the game to early parole (of course this would advantage the smart and unrepentant criminal as much as the 'ready to participate in society constructively' criminal).
xaviergisz, Dec 10 2006

       //I don't like how you are stereotyping poor people.//

I don't like how he's stereotyping people who commit crimes.
angel, Dec 10 2006

       Ian, was that deadpan humour or are you genuinely advocating communism?
xaviergisz, Dec 10 2006

       Ian - I'm just having trouble understanding what your anno meant.
xaviergisz, Dec 10 2006

       Pretty clear to me.   

       And I agree entirely about business. I've been telling people for 20 years that business is much more about cooperation than about competition. And that "what the market will bear" is an incomplete pricing model.
DrCurry, Dec 11 2006

       This is an excellent idea that deserves much better then the criticism and negative votes it got. If it is made accessible enough, it would have a beneficial effect and be able to show people a glimpse of a different world and some steps toward that world.
jmvw, Dec 11 2006

       //I can't speak for our European counterparts//   

       Don't worry, Europeans are spoiled too.
pertinax, Dec 11 2006

       //Start their Sim off with a minimum wage job and one-room apartment.// Life's not this fair in some places. Working full-time and minimum wage would pay for rent and that's about it. After rent, minimum- wagers are left with about $150 for the month for food, transportation and clothing, or whatever else people need, not including healthcare. Maybe you could start them off in a studio, that might save them $150 a month.
twitch, Dec 11 2006

       //to prosper, you do so by arranging the fixed quota of prosperity there is in the world so that you get more of a share of it than others.//

If you really believe this, you're missing something fairly fundamental.
angel, Dec 11 2006

       The entire sentence is "Most assumptions are based on a feudal paradigm whereby to succeed, others have to fail in comparison - to prosper, you do so by arranging the fixed quota of prosperity there is in the world so that you get more of a share of it than others." followed by "This kind of adversary approach to personal economics is surely flawed, counter-intuitively wrong, and fully outmoded for our modern networked lifestyle."

I wasn't challenging you, I was wondering whether *anyone* really believes that; I should have said "If one really believes this, one is missing something fairly fundamental." My apologies for the misrepresentation.
angel, Dec 11 2006


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