How many times have you made a wrong choice and then regretted it years, or even just moments, later? Like, after you let the perfect guy/girl walk out of your life but only realized it much later, or say, decided to take the PIE instead of the CTE to go home then regretted because there was a MASSIVE jam on the PIE and you hear "Smooth traffic on the CTE" as reported by the Class 95 DJ just minutes after you took entered the highway?
I know. Sucks big time.
2 students from Singapore Polytechnic (So proud of you guys!!! SP's my beloved alma mater which I really missed so much!!!) has teamed up with CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau) and NCADA (National Council Against Drug Abuse) to come up with a Flash game called "The Right Choice".
In my opinion, it is a really well-developed game, with a good plot, and interesting twists. In the game you will come to points when you need to make certain decisions. These decisions will affect the whole outcome of the plot, so make them only after having them some thought.
It begins with Jeremy telling us about his brother Xavier and the changes apparent in him.
Of course, like I mentioned, there are choices you have to make that will change how the story progresses.
Other than making choices, there are subgames and puzzles that you have to solve whilst helping Jeremy find out what is going on with his brother.
When I was playing the game there was this super exciting music going on in the background, like the kind that will make you nervous and create a sense of urgency and fear. I thought that added to the whole enhancement of the game.
My time score. I admit I made wrong choices in my first attempt at the game and I had a horrible ending. I tried the game again, this time more firm in my decisions, and I'm glad the story turned out well and moving.
Will you do better than me?
P.S. Notice that the game only has a "forward" button and no "rewind" option? Much like life, isn't it?
There is an "Extras" section in the game and you can go there for more info about drugs, and who you can turn to if you know of someone affected and want to help.
I found this page especially useful. If someone you love or care about is abusing drugs, do not be afraid to call. Do not be shy. Think about it, if it can save the person you care about from something you will regret not doing something about later, take all that self-consciousness and fear and shyness off, and just do it.
"The Right Choice" lets you take on the role of a family member, and that allows you to feel that drug abuse does not only affect the drug abuser, but also the people around him/her, particularly their loved ones.
And everyone has a part to play in helping them quit and changing their destinies.
This game, when I played it, has evoked some very strong emotions.
Let me share a very personal story with you, one I've not shared with others much...
I have an uncle whom I love very much. He was the eldest uncle, the one right after my mum. He looked a lot like my grandfather, and maybe because of that, or because he was the eldest son, he was the one my grandfather doted on the most. For some reason we had great affinity, and he doted on me a great deal.
At one stage in his life he got acquainted with bad company, and started his never-ending struggled journey with drugs. From then on, life in our family changed. He started appearing more listless every day, and sometimes I would catch him coming home drowsy and knocking into furniture and falling over. We would of course still go about our daily activities - everyone would still go to work, and I would still head to school. I remember I was only in Primary School, lower primary, to be exact. I wasn't kept in the loop about many things, perhaps due to my tender age my family would keep these complicated "adult things" away from me. I only knew there were Ah Longs (illegal moneylenders) who would come and ask for money (I never remembered any of those, maybe they settled it in private when I was in school) and many times my family had to find the money to get him out of debt and of course, trouble.
Then one day my grandfather told me my uncle went to prison, because he smashed someone's car. I asked why did uncle smash someone's car? And my grandpa said something about him taking drugs and the rest of the info was a blur. That was when I realized the money borrowed from the Ah Longs were most probably used to get those things which I knew then only as “药丸” (pills).
So the next few years I was often visiting my uncle in Changi Prison. One gate had to close before another opens. Security was extremely tight, and that place felt like how it was meant to make people feel - a cage. We would often bring magazines and books for my uncle, to keep him in the loop of what's happening in the world outside. Each visit he would meet us with a smile and would tell us what he has been doing and we'd do the same. Despite Changi Prison being the place I understand to be so gloomy now as an adult, every visit to him, I remember, was a happy one. And that was how I always remembered him - a very nice uncle who is very positive about life.
Every Chinese New Year he would write a CNY card for the family, and would always address a note to "Ah Bui" (that's me..I was fat when I was a kid remember?) to "快高长大，学业进步", and the like. Being the kid that I was, I believed then that my uncle had "turned over a new leaf" and was ready to be released soon and face the world anew.
After he was released we spent a lot of time together. He had some trouble looking for a job so he spent a considerable amount of time at home. But he was healthy, happy and positive about many things. Not the tipsy anyhow-fall-over uncle who had groggy eyes before he went to prison. He soon found a job selling furniture near m grandparents' place.
I don't know what happened in the months after, but his employer had called us and said my uncle had not been reporting for work regularly. My family of course, started being worried. Had he gone back that path again? Had those old "friends" of his found him and started coaxing him back to that lifestyle again? What's going on? By then I was already in Secondary School, and I remember that being my O'Level year. I was staying in the Nanyang Girls' Hostel during exam period so I had not much of a chance to know what was going on back home. I went home for the weekends, yes, and occasionally to my grandparents' for dinner, and I remember chatting to my uncle like an adult. Like friends. I could tell he was troubled, and I told myself I would ask him out for a movie and coffee and have a good talk with him, just so he knows there is someone he could turn to who wouldn't judge him.
I remember that morning. It was the morning of my A Maths paper, and I was in hostel as usual. During those days not many people have mobile phones. Instead, we have pagers. (For those who have no idea what a pager is it's somewhat like a paging machine you carry around, and should someone want to look for you they will dial your pager number and you will receive the number which paged you on your pager. You then call back with a public phone or a land line. They were also able to send you alphanumeric text messages.) Mine was a blue Motorola translucent frosted one, and I would check it every now and then to see if the guy I liked, or my mum, or any friend, have sent me any alphanumeric texts.
One new message! Of course I opened it with gusto. It could be anyone sending me an encouraging message for my paper that morning!
"Your great uncle passed away"
I stared at the message for a long time, reading and re-reading and registering what I just read. I told my room mates, who were at the time my then-classmates as well. But it all seemed so...surreal. I called my mum after changing into my school uniform and before heading across the road to school. She said the police came at about 5am, found him on the floor of a HDB block about 5 minutes' drive away from my grandparents' place.
He commited suicide? Was it out of desperation? He didn't want to be a burden to the family anymore? Someone pushed him down the building? There was a struggle and he fell down? What exactly happened? What was he thinking before that?
No one knew. We didn't want it to make it to the papers so we didn't pursue. All we knew was that there were crawling blood stains all over the floor, and that indicated that he had been struggling after he dropped. Knowing that he didn't die on the spot pained us. But that wasn't what pained me the most.
It was not calling him earlier for that movie and that coffee. It was not calling him earlier to meet up, to let him know that I am here for him if he needed someone to talk to. It was why I had time to go to King Albert Park McDonald's the day before but had not decided to take time to drop him a call or drop by my grandparents' place to have dinner and have a heart-to-heart chat.
I really regretted it, and I know that no matter how much I regret, life is not going to rewind for me and turn back to the days following that fateful message from my mum.
The choices we make. He didn't make the best choices. And I didn't make the choices I wanted to but delayed in making. Now I no longer have the chance.
Take this as a note from me to you: If you want to do something, do it now. (Something that wouldn't hurt yourself and others around you of course.) If you want to help someone you care about, do it without hesitation. Follow your heart, what you believe is right, and go for it. I am really fortunate to be given the chance to work with the Central Narcotics Bureau to educate my readers about drugs. The story I told you above? It's true. It happened to me, my family. And I don't wish for the same to happen to yours.
Play "The Right Choice" from now till 29 January 2012, and stand a chance to win an iPad2. There are also 16 pairs of iFly tickets (FUN! Plus this is not cheap~) to be won! Go to "Life Does Not Rewind" Facebook page for more details.