So we ennoble narratives of caregiving while simultaneously rating it low priority. The professionals — child care and elder care providers, most of them women of color, many of them immigrants — who work so hard to fill in that cognitive dissonance are underpaid and underprotected by labor laws. (The typical home care worker is paid only $15,100 a year.) As Ai-jen Poo, author of “The Age of Dignity” and a co-director of an advocacy organization, Caring Across Generations, puts it, “This is the work that makes all other work possible.”
This is not a “women’s issue,” as it has so often been framed, even though women still do a majority of caretaking, both paid and unpaid. Nor is it an individual problem to be solved. As Sarita Gupta, the other co-director of Caring Across Generations, explains: “People are realizing that there is a care system and that it affects everyone. Everyone has a care story. Americans are starting to ask: Why is this so hard? They’re angry, confused and want to do something about it.”
“The whole system needs a reboot,” Patrice Martin, one of those designers, explains. “Care needs to be reimagined. We need to start designing for the families of today rather than the stories of yesterday.”
I’ve always loved the puzzle genre of video games. Starting with the Infocomm text adventures of the early 80’s through Myst and similar adventure...