108/365 – Meditation Games #108 – Nicaragua

Developer: Antonio Vargas, Camila Castellon, Claudio Norori

Launcher Quote: “In Nicaragua what began as a peaceful protest back in April 2018 transformed into a crisis due to the brutal police and paramilitary repression imposed by Daniel Ortega, a figure that has stayed 11 consecutive years in office. His absolute control of state and institutional powers, such as the national army and the police force has made this possible. So far, more than 400 deaths are reported. Many Minors are identified in the list of victims. Raising a Nicaraguan flag is enough to be labeled as a terrorist and rebel. Any form of manifestation or peaceful protest has been labeled as illegal by the government. The Nicaraguan economy is still failing, over 600 political prisoners are living in sub-human conditions and being tortured. With this interactive experience we want to encourage you to talk and get informed about the horrific situation our country is going through.”

After a few messages of hope and goodness with the Meditation Games project, it was good to return to something more sobering – even dark, as far as the realistic and sometimes terrible occurrences and situations that exist in the world today. Today’s entry is a simple set of interactive bits of information presented in a landscape of greys, blacks, and sinister reds, meant to be both historical in its information about the origin and past of the conflict in Nicaragua as well as the present, terrible situation that continues to be a life-threatening problem for its citizens.

I was reminded of a museum presentation at times when looking through the various still images with interactive elements, learning about what guns were used by paramilitary forces, the numbers of people that died, the oppressive practices that resulted in suppressed freedoms and the origin of the conflict, caused ironically by a controlling government that itself overthrew an oppressive one. This in and of itself is terrible to read about and to behold, but the true reality of the situation hits you when you begin reading that the conflict, even a year past the game’s creation, is still ongoing, that the government causing this pain, suffering, and suppression is still in power, that Nicaraguans today I still fighting for freedoms.

As people who are likely not in the same situation and are comfortably living with amenities and privileges we feel are as common and present to us as breathing, seeing this is a sobering reminder that such privileges aren’t to be taken for granted, that there are places and people for whom this is not the case, and that daily life isn’t as easy as the first world problems that we often feel get in the way of our day. Those problems are like pebbles in a shoe compared to the figurative landmines that the developers show that Nicaraguans have to navigate every day. But we can learn from, be aware of, and perhaps do a little something to help others know about the situation, research and find information about and communicate that information in an accurate and meaningful manner, and most of all, try to ensure that we advocate for everyone having the privileges that we have and which we so often possess and think of as second nature – because not everyone has them.

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