Decisions regarding financial issues occupy a significant place in the lives of people, including both those who have a consistently high income and those who are constantly in search of livelihoods. These decisions, in turn, have a direct impact on lifestyle, creating conditions under which a person may or may not allow oneself certain benefits, privileges, or joys. On the example of the game “Spent” that makes it possible to feel responsible for any actions, one can analyze how specific factors affect the level and quality of life. This practice is valuable due to the fact that decisions made directly during the game have much in common with real social aspects and reflect specific behavioral patterns that people resort to in different situations.
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Personal Choices During the Game
Since each of the steps of the game is associated with making financial decisions that may affect the further development of events, the emphasis on consequences is key. Initially, I chose the profession of a warehouse employee because this type of activity suited me both due to its second shift the fact that I have an athletic shape. As a result, the entire subsequent game was built on the basis of the factor that this work was not well paid, and any expenses required a thoughtful assessment. Nevertheless, I had certain goals and followed them; in particular, I did not spare money for the education of a child and preferred to pay off all bills and debts rather than use unnecessary amenities. Savings were inevitable, and some proposals had to be rejected, in particular, medical insurance. This is not surprising because, based on the information provided by Trevino, in 2015, almost 10% of the US population did not have permanent health insurance (134). Thus, some decisions were not easy, but to save the budget and continue my virtual life, I had to sacrifice some benefits.
The rejection of certain offers entailed consequences that affected the outcomes of the game. I managed to save enough to pay the rent and not go bankrupt. Nevertheless, I had to refuse such important offers as regular lunch at work and attending extra-curricular activities for the child for the sake of earning extra money. Work without sick leaves caused damage to my back, and in the end, I still lost some of the funds due to the need to skip one shift. Some expenses were inevitable, for instance, repairing a car, paying bills, or buying a basic set of products, but overall, I managed to achieve the goal and not spend all the money for life.
A Second Attempt
Having an opportunity to play the game a second time, I changed some decisions. For instance, I helped my child with money to buy an ice cream. Also, I refused to go to the public library and made a choice in favor of getting the Internet at home. In the end, the overpayment was negligible, but convenience increased. Also, I decided to apply for food stumps to maintain strength. I did not let the roommate, despite potential benefits, and at the same time, I did not have to feel discomfort due to his staying in our living room. In general, after going through the game again, I became convinced that poverty, as Trevino remarks, was a relative quantity that showed how a person associated oneself with society (106). The result of the savings was less modest, but I managed to understand that spending can be justified due to the preservation of time for work and family. Therefore, maintaining an adequate income is necessarily accompanied by costs, and some of them are inevitable.
Correlations with Educational Materials
The game passed corresponds to the subject of some issues from the course and, in particular, the ideas by Trevino. Since a financial aspect is not the only one, and social topics are constantly mentioned, the author’s ideas regarding poverty and its manifestations in the modern world are relevant. For instance, Trevino notes that poverty and inequality are often interrelated concepts, and some stages of the game confirm this assumption (104). The lack of an opportunity to purchase expensive and comfortable housing encourages the search for alternatives and not always worthy options. As a result, discomfort caused by the lack of sufficient income stimulates class inequality, which often manifests itself in low-paid jobs and increased managers’ requirements. Thus, the social aspects involved in the game resonate with the themes of the course.
In general, the game aims to demonstrate a realistic picture that the representatives of the working class often encounter. Trevino, in turn, argues that the specifics of behavior, patterns of perception, and other psychological aspects are largely a consequence of a particular environment (54). Accordingly, a constant presence in the search for a livelihood changes personal views and beliefs and creates new goals and mechanisms for their achievement. Therefore, when correlating the game with the course, one can note that the methods for describing the problems of the working class are displayed both in the used academic source and in the simulator. This makes the process of passing through the stages of the game believable and enthralling.
The passed game is an exciting and valuable practice that allows comparing social difficulties that arise in the process of playing with real-life situations and draw conclusions regarding optimal solutions. Approaches to assessing the same events may differ if several attempts to complete the levels are proposed. In general, the topics raised, in many respects, coincide with the themes of the course and, in particular, the ideas of poverty, inequality, and class division.
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Trevino, A. Havier. Investigating Social Problems. 2nd ed., Sage Publications, 2018.