‘Spent’: Game teaches teenagers and adults about financial survival in the real world


Daija Berry

“Spent” allows teenagers and adults to be able to experience how to survive being poor and homeless.

“It’s just stuff.  Until you don’t have it.”

This is the motto for a web game that is not just a fun question and answer situation but a lesson in surviving in the real world.

“Spent” is an online game that allows teenagers to learn about surviving destitution, as well as homelessness. It is a game that focuses on how to survive in the real world with a very limited supply of resources.

Players of the game work through real life situations with choose-your-own-adventure styled questions.  If the answer is not beneficial to a player’s lifestyle, their score will go down.  The score of the game is communicated through dollar amounts that represent the budget.

“Spent” can be played individually or as a group. With this in mind, the website gives three job strikes; therefore it is important to try and answer the questions as thoroughly as possible.

In addition to earning money as the score, “Spent” keeps track of how many days you or your friends/family have been playing the game.

The game is not only designed for teenagers, but adults as well. In fact, there is an option called “Smash your kid’s piggy bank”;  this then gives the player the little bit of money saved by a child in this fantasy scenario.

In addition to that option, there are two more that are available for people to choose. One of them is “donate plasma” for the amount of $25. Last but not least, there is an option titled “get a payday loan” for $50.

Although “Spent” is a fairly new game, it has become increasingly popular all over the world.

“It’s an interesting game,” said freshman Rita Veneziale. “It’s a good way to raise awareness in people.”

Urban Ministries of Durham is the organization that created “Spent.” As a result, they actually have an opportunity for people to donate to the program, which can be found at the bottom of the website.

It is different from other games, because it has a good purpose behind using it versus just playing it for fun. “Spent” relates to real life in so many ways, such as teaching people how to survive in life, without having to be poor or homeless.

“I think that a game like ‘Spent’ would help the future generations become more aware of their decisions and the impacts that they create,” said sophomore Genia Purdy.

Furthermore, it could make people appreciate the things they have in life more than they did before, when they think about other people that are struggling in their lives.

“It sounds really nice because it teaches you skills that you might actually need one day,” said senior Molly Marra. “Plus knowing that you can take care of yourself and the people around you will help you stay calm if you were ever in a stressful situation.”