This month, Urban Ministries of Durham and McKinney came out with a educational, life-decisions game called Spent, which you can find at http://playspent.org. It is well worth 15 minutes of your time to see a game environment with just questions and a game scoring.
I have no affiliation with them, but I thought it was fun enough to share. Anyone seen anything like this?
Greg, thanks for sharing this. I played a round. It was difficult to survive the month. The game provides an moving insight into trying to make it as a person living on the edge of poverty. Chuck Petranek had an classroom based activity that provided a similar experience. The advantage of the online version is the speed with which you can create the experience. Using facebook to ask a friend for help was particularly compelling. Well worth a play through.
I just played, and didn't survive. I made it 20 days. My daughter played, and ended the month with $150.00.
I thought the Facebook link was interesting, but kind of a dead-end. I don't see how it encourages a friend to collaborate or offer assistance? I couldn't figure out how to make that 'friendship' pay off.
Nice visuals, and compelling enough to keep me playing.
I thought the Facebook link was more of an "eye-opener" than an actual collaboration link. It was a surprise to me that it actually opened Facebook. The idea of actually asking a friend was a sobering experience.
I did survive the month with some money in the bank but it was not without some big compromises.
Yeah, good point. I think this game was good -- the exaggerated "problems" were not realistic, but it's akin to military games where you shoot at hundreds of enemies during play... rarely does a soldier do that in real life. The amplified problem set distributed over a short span of time definitely brought about an awareness of what lower-income people face when juggling "real life" situations.
I would like to see a richer integration of the friend idea. Maybe even virtual friends to help with coaching/counseling through the problems. When I lost all my money and bottomed out on the 29th day, I wondered, "what next?"
I liked it. Simple interface. I particularly liked the call from the collection agency. That actually triggered an emotional response in me! Kind of a panic in owing someone money, and the risk of losing something I need and care about.
Not a good feeling, and yes, one that many people have.
I agree with Brandon that in some way, it is kind of too much going on at one time...but on the other hand, I'm guessing that while every month is not like this, there are many people where this kind of compounding of negative events happens.
I didn't make it through the month, and that was without buying any beer (so it wasn't very realistic).
Having worked with a group of single parents who were only making $7.50 hour, I thought this was very realistic. They were faced with decisions like do I pay the utilities or buy my child's medication? As others have said, hopefully every month would not include all the scenarios, but I think the point is, it could. I thought it was very sobering. I wish all of our lawmakers could play this game and maybe they would understand the compromises the working poor have to make. Better still, make them live the game. That would be a real Survivor.
Oh, I guess I was supposed to judge the game on its structure and scoring... As Jimbo mentioned, I was emotionally involved, one of the signs of a good game.
I really liked the interface, scenarios and the simplicity of the game. Plus...the game emphasized important teaching points.