Residents of a homeless shelter in Chicago. AP Photo/Amy SancettaThink you could survive a month in poverty without winding up broke? An innovative online game, Spent, lets you find out.
The project of a North Carolina ministry and an ad agency, Spent asks users to make the kind of choices that low-income people routinely face: whether to pay the electric bill or the phone bill, or whether to pay extra for health insurance with their job or to just hope they won't get sick. The goal is to make it through an entire month without running out of money -- and while hanging on to your home and keeping food on the table.
Since launching in February, the game--which was designed for Urban Ministries of Durham by McKinney, a Durham-based ad agency, has been played over 1.7 million times, in 196 countries, according to McKinney. Visitors spend an average of more than 10 minutes on the site as they try to figure out a strategy to keep their heads above water for the month.Read More »from Spent, an online game, forces players to confront challenges of poverty