After working with Restaurant Opportunity Centers (ROC) United on the Diners Guide for Ethical Eating, I felt that other steps could be taken to raise awareness about workers’ rights in the food service industry. Of particular interest to me was the fact that most people handling your food in a restaurant do not receive paid sick days by their employer. According to ROC United, 64% of the workers have worked while sick. Outside of the standard labor issues, I saw a major public health problem.
Unsavory is an attempt at raising awareness of a public health problem that affects a lot of people through a mobile game. In the game, you play a fast food worker that prepares burritos. You’re sick and are bound to sneeze and contaminate the food. You should take the day off, but if you want to make enough money to cover rent you’ll have to go to work. Each level represents the span of a day where and your goal is to be able to pay yours bills for that month.
Unsavory received a Gold Award in the 2015 International Serious Play Awards and was a Special Emphasis Award Winner for Best Social Media Crowdsourcing Game at the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge. The game also won Best of Category for Mobile Games in the annual Horizon Interactive Awards in 2015. It’s been written about by Eater Miami and the Miami Herald. It can be downloaded for iOS devices in the App Store and for Android devices on Google Play.