Monday, September 26, 2011

Unemployment: Now in Scary Game Form

Just kidding. Being poor isn't fun. Of course, "poor" is a relative term. You may scream you're poor because you can't afford an expensive dinner, or a new season's threads. Or you may say you're poor as you spend spring break at home because you can't handle the fare for a trip to Cancun.

But when it comes to being UNEMPLOYED - that is a whole different kind of poor. And it's a pain that many are suffering from. Though it may be hard to see this hardship when you're living in NYC. Especially in gay-fabulous NYC.

Around here, everyone seems to happily go out to dinner, drink in Meatpacking, grab the hottest new shirts in Soho, and grab the latest Apple gadget the day it comes out.

But, of course, that is inaccurate. Unemployment in the US is currently at 9.1%. That, of course, is the REPORTED rate, which means that there stands to be many more unreported unemployed. So, basically, 1 in every ten legally employable adults cannot find work. Fuck, that's scary.

But if you're reading this blog post, chances are you're all right, since you have Internet access. Unless you're using public library Web, which I learned a lot of folks without the money to pay for service do.

Do you think YOU could handle being unemployed? You could guess and wonder, or you can try SPENT.

SPENT is a game that gives you a TASTE of what it's like to be on unemployment. The game is a quick, interactive diversion that may actually leave you with some thoughts and possibly some desire to help others out in need. It's also very educational. Definitely helped me put some shit in perspective.

I was able to survive 28 days unemployed before I ran out of money. Of course I imagine I'd survive even less if this were real life, and not a game. Also, I was thinking strategically. And, in the end, I'm sitting here in an air-conditioned office clicking the mouse on my computer. Big difference.

Be strategic when you play, but also consider the situation at hand. This is some scary shit that I am both thankful I don't have to deal with, and sorry that others have to deal with it.

Take SPENT for a spin, and pass it on. Maybe even donate some cash to your local nonprofit.


- Justin Luke

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