Homelessness: The Game

Homeless The Game

Zachary Sniderman writes on Mashabe.com:

It’s one thing to feel bad for homeless people; it’s another to be forced into their shoes. Advertising agency McKinney has teamed up with Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD), a non-profit based in North Carolina, to create SPENT, an online game that guides users through what it feels like to be homeless.

Here’s how it works: If you accept the challenge to play, you enter a simple point-and-click game, navigating multiple choice questions about your livelihood. The site says you have been stripped of your savings and are currently unemployed, asking, “Can you make it through the month?”

You’re given simple choices with varying consequences. Do you want to try working in a restaurant? A factory? If you live far from the city your rent will be cheap, but, as you’re informed through pop-ups, you’ll have to pay more for gas or transportation.

The game’s integration with Facebook is its best feature. When faced with some choices, (like your landlord raising your rent) the game will ask you to decide whether to ignore the claim, pay it or ask a friend. The last option opens up a pre-written statement in Facebook where you can email one of your actual friends for “help,” bridging the gap between virtual reality and the real uneasiness of having to ask a friend for assistance. This simple act also helps spread awareness for the game by attaching a logo and small description to your request.

[More at Mashable.com, or play it at playspent.com]

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8 Responses to Homelessness: The Game

  1. Chaorder Gradient April 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Even when you win; you lose.

  2. Chaorder Gradient April 24, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Even when you win; you lose.

    • rtb61 April 24, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      Truth is either you win or you and your victims lose. Once society abandons you to die in the streets, than in your battle for life you basically end up at war with that society and, that is the reality of no social welfare net and economic hardship and inevitable growth in violent crime.

      • Chaorder Gradient April 24, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        I was just talking about the silly little game, nonetheless all valid points.

  3. Anonymous April 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Truth is either you win or you and your victims lose. Once society abandons you to die in the streets, than in your battle for life you basically end up at war with that society and, that is the reality of no social welfare net and economic hardship and inevitable growth in violent crime.

  4. Chaorder Gradient April 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    I was just talking about the silly little game, nonetheless all valid points.

  5. Metaleaf April 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    This game isn’t about homelessness – you rent an apartment a few turns into the game. The choice there is being closer to work with higher (unaffordable) rent or far away from work with higher (unaffordable) gas mileage. The game does a good job portraying the life of the American poor.

  6. Metaleaf April 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    This game isn’t about homelessness – you rent an apartment a few turns into the game. The choice there is being closer to work with higher (unaffordable) rent or far away from work with higher (unaffordable) gas mileage. The game does a good job portraying the life of the American poor.

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