McKinney launches Spent, an interactive game about poverty
McKinney, an advertising agency based in Durham, NC, recently teamed up with the Urban Ministries of Durham to visualize the difficulties that many people face in paying their bills and keeping a roof over their heads. Titled “Spent,” the interactive choose-your-own-adventure simulation takes users through a month of making financial decisions while trying to not go broke or ask a friend for help. I didn’t make it through the month – can you?
As Walt Barron, a McKinney employee blogged:
“I played for a good while – even longer than the 8-min avg. time spent on the site. I chose to pocket a dropped $10 instead of giving it back to its rightful owner. I chose not to talk to the union organizers for fear of losing my job. I didn’t put in a few bucks for the office lottery. I chose not to get health insurance. I bought ramen noodles instead of chicken.
And I thought my life was challenging.
Honestly. How do people do it? How does one find a job, in this economy, with little to no $ in the bank and a family to support? Fortunately for me, I could quit the game when the decisions became too tough.”
I felt the same way. In my case I lied about breaking dishes as a waitress so I wouldn’t have to pay for them out of my dwindling check but I decided to give the $10 birthday check to my son rather than keep it for food. The decisions were all reasonable situations that would unfold throughout a typical month, and there was never a right or wrong answer – just a better and worse one depending on your current cash flow.
Let me know how long you spend on this site and if you think the interactive nature helped to connect you with the plight of those depicted in this game.
HT: Margaret Cheatham Williams
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Tags: choose your own adventure, economy, financials, Flash, game, homelessness, interactive, McKinney, money, poverty, Spent, Urban Ministries of Durham