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Poverty Ain't for Scaredy-Cats! Make ends meet without losing your cool!




Broke, the game, induces the stress and pressure experienced in the extraordinarily difficult process of attempting to overcome poverty in the United States. With a simple set-up and about 45 minutes of game play, Broke, which is sold at cost, gets players thinking and pushing the boundaries of their preconceived ideas about poverty in the US.

Broke is a highly engaging, empathy-creating game that is easily adaptable from home play to multiple learning environments - from boardrooms to classrooms. Broke pits players against poverty with a deck that is literally stacked against them!

Broke gives players the opportunity to navigate life as either a farmer, single parent, senior citizen, or someone without citizenship documents or living in a homeless shelter. Players develop empathy by experiencing the stress and frustration of making high stakes decisions with competing priorities and not enough income.

Broke plunges players into situations not accessible inside a classroom. Broke is easily incorporated into an academic class period or training curriculum with everything you need for high-impact outcomes. Broke comes with directions, an app and even discussion questions to help learners process their experience.

All of the situations in Broke are pulled from soup kitchens, homeless shelters, halfway houses and the real-lived experiences of people struggling with structured inequity in the United States.

Understand what it feels like to be challenged with the overwhelming stress of making no-win decisions when you’re BROKE!

Player reflections:

“I never realized how difficult making the right choices could be… and how complex and pressure-filled it is to live in poverty.”

“The game made me respect people in poverty more, and have more empathy for their struggles.”

“The game was able to help me understand my own experience of growing up poor.”


"Making a game about the experience of poverty risks being trivializing, reductive, or didactic. Gold (the creator of Broke) brilliantly flips the script by asking players to confront the systems that keep people stuck in poverty, and by starting vigorous conversations between players about scenarios drawn from her extensive professional experience. This game incorporates best practices for changing players' perspectives, and it does it while being brilliantly fun. You will never forget the experiences you have playing Broke, regardless of your own background."

Jessica Hammer, Thomas and Lydia Moran Assistant Professor of Learning Science Human Computer Interaction Institute / Entertainment Technology Center

"One of the most powerful things a game can do is to change someone's point of view by immersing them in situations they don't face in their everyday life. BROKE's design is brilliant, because it forces players to confront the realities of an economic system that helps the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Who would have thought a fun party game could get people to look each other in the eye while discussing systemic racism and economic theory? BROKE does all this and more -- it's definitely worth checking out!

Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, Distinguished Professor of Entertainment Technology, Carnegie Mellon University

"Dana Gold (the creator of Broke) brings a lifetime of personal and professional experience to help create a game that enables people to better understand the systemic nature of poverty and its crippling impact in our society on individuals and families. This is important work that can help raise awareness and ideally help make changes for the better for all of us."

Drew Davidson, Director of Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center


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Average Rating 8 reviews
Publish Date July 05, 2020
Edition First
Department Games
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More Info BROKE web site

Why buy this?

Who would have thought a fun party game could get people to look each other in the eye while discussing systemic racism and economic theory? BROKE does all this and more --

  • Can you hack it as a single parent or last a day homeless?
  • All scenarios are plucked from real-life situations.
  • Great for classrooms, trainings or with friends!


  • This game contains a premium upgrade called UV Coating that makes the printed components more durable.
  • This game contains laser cut components. Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot around the edges, which can easily be wiped off; and will have a campfire smell for about a week after you open them.


See It In Action

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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