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Winter 2016

Can You Tip the Scales?

Resilience GameEver wonder what can be done to help kids in a community become more resilient when faced with serious challenges like crime increasing or a parent getting really sick? A new interactive game created by the Ed School-based Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University lets you try out different options. Maybe you add community policing to a neighborhood or open a local health clinic. As you play Tipping the Scales: The Resilience Game, you have to really think about your choices, and with only 20 resilience bucks, you need to choose wisely.

Luckily, you don't have to choose blindly. The game, released on the center's website this past fall, gives users the chance to learn the histories of 12 young people in the community and shows how various choices would tip each person's scale. One baby's scale was tipped toward more negative factors: She had poor prenatal nutrition and teen parents who tried hard but who worked and were in school. Another child started with the scale tipped pretty evenly: She was from a loving family but had a military mom who was away for long stretches of time. The goal of the game is to tip as many children's scales into the positive as possible before your 20 resilience bucks run out.