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Online Game Spent Approaches 4.5M Plays Worldwide


Since it launched in 2011, Urban Ministries of Durham's online game SPENT has been played nearly 4.5 million times by 2 million unique users, the agency announced Tuesday.

The game contiues to receive about 5,000 new plays a day by 2,000 unique users.

UMD Director of Marketing and Development Bryan Gilmer is amazed at the game's success: "We regularly get calls from college professors, community activists, and others asking permission to use the game to teach people what it's like to wrestle with deep poverty. And month after month, many of those players are choosing to make donations to Urban Ministries of Durham on the game's final screen to help people in that situation."

The game, at, places the player in the role of a person whose savings are exhausted and whose home has just been reposessed. Starting the game with $1,000, the player faces a series of agonizing decisions based on the real dilemmas that Urban Ministries of Durham clients routinely face. The challenge is to make it through the month with any money left -- and with at least the most essential human needs met.

BY THE NUMBERS: SPENT as of December 2013


  • Number of plays: 4,418,676
  • Number of unique visitors: 2,220,634
  • About 5,000 new plays a day by 2,000 unique users as of December 2013
  • Average Time on site: 11:22
  • Major traffic drivers: Google search, Facebook,, YouTube, Reddit, tumblr
  • Players from more than 216 countries/territories