On Facebook I recently came across a game called “Spent” that lets you spend a month in the life of a person who makes just above minimum wage (don’t worry, you don’t need a Facebook account to play it). The game is made by a group called Urban Ministries of Durham in North Carolina and progresses day by day as you deal with various situations (what do you buy at the grocery store? Do you deal with your health problems or put them off?) that people in poverty may face. As you make decisions the game provides information (the sources and information that they provide is summarized here). Essentially, it is like Life except you don’t get to choose a station wagon and there don’t seem to be any happy endings.
It seems like this might be a good game to have students play before a class discussion or assignment on poverty in order to help them contextualize the sorts of choices that people in poverty have to make on a daily basis.