SPENT a different kind of game

Games like SPENT are interesting studies in potential. I’ve long contended that the proper avenue for edutainment is documentary and not dumbed down children’s games full of math problems. What a video game, as interactive fiction, can do is let you live the life of someone else, and that is a very valuable tool.

SPENT takes that idea and runs with it, though it doesn’t make it exceptionally far. A docugame about living below the poverty line, it crams in a terribly unrealistic amount of crap to try to drive its point home, that poverty is difficult, except…an unrealistic amount of stuff happens, and the game is, on the whole, too easy. It’s an interesting thought experiment, though, and for that it deserves to be looked at. We have never objected to documentary on account of a lack of facts, so I don’t see the reason to tar and feather a game that does a lot of interesting things because its facts are designed to promote a (pretty good) cause.

Give it a go, in any event.