Spent is an educational game that attempts to give users the experience of living on the edge of poverty. You make a series of choices, trying to keep your head above water financially. It is text-based, providing lots of reading opportunities with plenty of life-skills-related vocabulary. I particularly like how they demonstrate that financial pressures can lead to moral dilemmas. For example, the decision to drive away from a fender bender with a parked car is much more tempting with a low bank account balance. There are also interesting compromises that have to be made in terms of opportunities that you are able to offer to your child. After many of the decisions, additional facts and opinions are given about the relevant issues.
I think this game is an engaging way for students to learn about many of the issues that poor families struggle with. I would certainly consider using it in a unit on poverty and wealth. It doesn’t take very long, and could serve either as an introductory or review activity. It also touches on a number of other issues, including education, health and nutrition.