Week 3









Game Elements:

The title of the game is SPENT developed by McKinney and funded by Urban Ministries of Durham. The URL of where the game can be found  is http://playspent.org/html/.

Learning Objective:

The learning objective of the game is to teach the player about the importance decision making and rational thinking. The dominant form interaction the player has with the game is choosing and making decisions. The cognitive process is most affected by the game design by having the player think before making a decision and weighing their options.

Formal Elements: 

The game is a one player game but there are other characters in the game. The primary objective of the game is to make it through the month with enough money. Enough money can mean range from a penny and up.  The game consists of no rules which complements both the learning and game objectives. During the game money is acquired and spent. Groceries, bills, health insurance etc are other resources that are being acquired. Conflict is introduced when the player is faced with a problem, such as sending their child to an after school program or using the money for rent. The problems are maintained and resolved throughout the game. The game prevents the player from entering their own options, which contributes to both the learning and game objectives. It does so by allowing the player to think and learn from their mistakes and make better choices for themselves and families. When the player runs out of money, the game ends.

Dramatic Elements: 

The main character of the game is the player of the game. The motivation of the player is to obtain/ have enough money to make it through the month. The challenge the player is presented with is determining what decision they think is best.  The general premise of the story is a parent raising their child on minimum wage and the story uses an emergent narrative. From Bartle’s Taxonomy, achievers are more likely to enjoy this game.

Functionality, Completeness, & Balance:

The game is fully functional, balanced, and complete.

Fun and Accessibility:

The game is engaging and easy to learn. All the choices the player makes in the game are meaningful.

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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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