How would your life change if you were suddenly made unemployed? It's a question that very few of us would like to ponder, but one we should all be familiar with. Could you stretch the latest welfare payment/minimum wage pay cheque across household bills, rent, proper health insurance, and adequate care for your children?
Created in collaboration between McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham – a US charity providing support to those who need it – Spent is a text-based game that puts you in the very real position of unemployment over a one-month basis, seeking to survive amidst lowly-paid, physically-exerting jobs and increasing living costs. At a time where employment around the world is at some of its highest levels ever, Spent is not only an educational tool to awaken us to the hardship happening all around us on a daily basis (and it truly is a worthwhile cause), but is one of the most unsettling games we've played in quite some time. Where healthcare insurance has to be abandoned in favour of your child's school field trip, and bills have to be avoided for fear of repossession.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.