Solving the Global Food Crisis as President
A new online game entitled “President for a Day” allows people to tackle the heavy topic of the global food crisis and come up with their own solution. The game addresses four key issues: climate change, biofuels, agricultural development, and foreign aid. President for a Day was launched on February 19th by an anti-poverty organization called ActionAid USA. The mission of ActionAid USA is to eradicate global poverty by working with impoverished and marginalized people and “bringing their perspectives to bear on U.S. policies that affect global countries.”

The game is very simple. Four questions are asked and can be answered by picking one of multiple options. Each question addresses one of the four key issues. Each person, playing the role of president, must decide the action he or she would take in a situation where they are shaping the direction of policy. Should local farmers affected by climate change be supported through private investment or public funding? Should the current mandate dealing with corn ethanol subsidies be kept?

After answering the four questions, which offer further information on the subjects if desired, the results of the game are offered. This is the most impressive part of the whole game as the interplay between the key issues can be seen; each answer for one issue affects all of the other issues as well.

The opening page of the game states, in bold red font, that “your decisions will make the headlines” and this is precisely what happens. Results come in the form of the front page of a newspaper four years from the time of the game showing how each person, as president, has influenced or affected global poverty. This shows how U.S. policies affect people globally, highlighting the importance of taking in the needs of everyone and seeing the affects of one nation’s actions on the entire international community before making decisions and passing laws.

U.S. policy does not just affect the United States.

A single decision made by the United States – to scrap the corn ethanol mandate or to allow private investments to support farmers affected by climate control, for example – can be seriously detrimental to the future of many countries outside of the United States.

Be president for a day and see what you would do to combat the global food crisis at

– Angela Hooks

Sources: President for a Day, ActionAid USA, MNN
Photo: President for a Day