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Ashley Seigal Edci 270 November 4, 2013 Case 3 The game, Spent, can be found by going to www.playspent.org.

I have found that one of the 8 grade teachers has been using this game in his or her classroom. After investigation of this website, I found and gathered a lot of information about this online game or tutorial. The purpose of the game Spent is to place an individual in a situation where they have to try and survive poverty and homelessness by going through a series of events and choices. When you open up the game, you are given two options: Find a Job or Exit. When you click Find a Job you will then be sent to another screen where three different jobs are listed. You can apply as a restaurant server, a warehouse worker or a temp. Each job has a different salary and its own job requirements. Once you choose what job you desire, you are then given another two options. The question asks, Do you want to opt in for health insurance? There is an Opt In and an Opt Out button. Once you click your whether or not you want to opt in, or opt out, you are then asked to find a place to live. With every decision you choose, there is some sort of statistic listed related to your choice you previously made. These statistics are true statics of the U.S. and how there is a lot of poverty and homelessness in our country. When you get to the point where you are asked to choose where you want to live, you are given a drag bar. On the left side of the bar, it has a house in the city that is close to where you work. If you chose this, there is less time to commute between travels of going to and from work, and you dont have to pay a high gas price. This may seem likeable; however, living in the city means that there is a higher rent to pay. When you move the drag bar to the far right, this means that you are going to pay a cheaper rent since your house is farther away from the city. When the drag bar is pulled all the way to the right, you are living fifty miles away from home. Rent is less expensive; however, the individual playing the game needs to remember that the farther away you live from work, the more gas money you have to pay to get to and from work. After you go through these decisions in Spent, you are on a budget of approximately $400. With this $400, you need to make decisions without trying to end up bankrupt or in poverty. Questions such as: Your kid wants to go on a field trip. Do you spend the money to provide him or her to go on the field trip, or do you decide not to pay the money? and You ran your car into another car after driving on a slippery driveway. Do you pay the money or do you drive away? These questions are harder to answer then they seem. With an approximate $400 budget, expenses like these are costly, and you could run out of money with just one simple decision. It is harder for an individual to make the decision because the object of the game is to see how far you could live with a small budget for a month. If morally right decisions were made, you would definitely be in poverty by the middle of the game. If slick and sneaky decisions and if sacrifices were made in the game, an individual would finish farther in the game because of opportunity costs and sneaky decisions. Overall, Spent is a game where you are trying to defeat homelessness and poverty by placing yourself in the mindset where you have a month to live with a very small budget. I believe that Spent could have an educational value for students within an 8th grade Social Studies class. I believe this because this game teaches students how to make decisions and it places students in a different frame of mind. Students are unaware of the true realities of life, and I believe that this game is a simple but informational way that students can learn about the trueness of poverty and homelessness. Not only is it informational, but using the game Spent
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incorporates technology in a classroom. It is a good way for students to make their own choices and have a hands-on experience with technology and critical thinking. Spent could be integrated to advance learning in several different ways. One way that this game could be integrated into advance learning is by creating a lesson plan where a teacher teaches about how the U.S. stands today with world problems such as poverty, homelessness, health issues etc. An activity can then be given that requires students to see how far they would get in Spent. The teacher should explain to the students that they are not trying to win the game of Spent. Instead, students are trying to learn the realities of how people actually live their daily lives. Another way that Spent can be integrated into advance learning is by creating a lesson plan where a teacher teaches about how the U.S. stands today with world problems such as poverty, homelessness, heath issues, etc. In summary, the same lesson plan would be taught, however; instead of having students individually take play the game of Spent, the class as a whole would play the game of Spent. This not only lets students learn what their peers opinions are, but it lets the teacher know what the class thinks about the lessons of Spent. Playing Spent with the class also creates a group activity where students can have controlled debates, disagreements, agreements and discussions. This is a good learning experience because students can also develop their communication skills. Another way the Spent can be integrated into advance learning is by having the teacher teach the same lesson and having him or her play the game of Spent and showing his or her classroom the results of their decisions. This allows the teacher to explain their choices and it allows students to grasp the mind set of an adults hard decisions of life. For my first research article, I will be using Games in Education: Serious Games by futurelab to describe their results and conclusions concerning serious games being used for educational purposes. This article can be found at www.futurelab.org.uk. This article consists of five different sections. The first section is the executive summary, and then the introduction follows. After the introduction is stated, then the next section follows which is context. After context, serious games in multiple domains are stated followed by the last section which is the challenges. Overall, the results and conclusions of serious games from this article inform that serious games can be useful, helpful and informative; however, there are many serious games that do not need to be used for educational purposes. The article also describes how serious games should follow distinct rules and guidelines. Normally, serious games are used for older and more mature audiences. Serious games are also used for a lot of military and medical purposes. For my second research article, I will be using Serious games for smarter skills: The future of learning by IBM to describe their results and conclusions concerning serious games being used for educational purposes. This article can be found at www.ibm.com/us/en/. This article consists of results that state that serious games for educational purposes are good for expanding the mind and for learning how to use technology, establishing personalized ideas and global integration. This article encourages serious games and states that they can help in many different ways not only in working with jobs or education, but mentally, socially and even physically. This article also states that the world is becoming more technological. Advanced technology such as serious games can help us learn important lessons that could better our education and working skills. In conclusion, Spent is an education serious game that can be used to learn about poverty and homelessness in the U.S. Everyone has their different opinions about whether or not to incorporate them into educational purposes.

Works Cited Ulicsak, M. (2010, June). Games in education: Serious games. Retrieved from http://media.futurelab.org.uk/resources/documents/lit_reviews/Serious Games_Review.pdf IBM. (n.d.). Serious games for smarter kids: The future of learning. Retrieved from http://www 01.ibm.com/software/solutions/soa/newsletter/oct09/article_seriousgames.html