I grew up in the suburbs and I think most of my friends had a similar upbringing. It’s hard for anyone who didn’t grow up in poverty to understand the day-to-day struggles associated with being poor. SPENT is a game created by a nonprofit (Urban Ministries of Durham) and an advertising agency that challenges players to survive a month living in poverty.
You start the game with $1,000, but without a car or a home. The first step in the game is to find a job and, from there, you’re presented with difficult decisions about how to survive with few resources. I made it to the end of the month, but not without making tough decisions that included giving my dog to a shelter and missing my grandfather’s funeral. SPENT helps players understand the difficult situations that come along with being poor and that hardships can strike educated and hardworking people.
The game also shares statistics about the struggles of the working poor and homeless. It can be easy to judge individuals living in poverty, but this game is a unique way to help anyone empathize with the harsh realities that so many people face. It doesn’t take long to play, but leaves an impact that lingers. Take a few minutes to visit playspent.org.
Thank you, Well Heeled Blog for blogging about SPENT.