Unsavory, the mobile game developed by NERDLab at the University of Miami’s School of Communication in collaboration with Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, won a gold honor in the Games for Good category at the 2015 International Serious Play Awards competition.

The competition recognizes outstanding examples of titles that deliver a high quality of engagement and learning opportunities for students, employees, or other education or training situations.

Unsavory places game players in the role of a restaurant employee at an eatery named Rocket Taco to see if they can prepare food and survive a month at work while sick. Created to raise awareness on the lack of sick days afforded to restaurant workers and the potential for a public health crisis, Unsavory forces game players to decide whether they are going into work while sick or take an unpaid day off to get better. With a growing stack of bills to pay and a minimum wage salary, the decision to stay at home without pay is not an easy one to make.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Serious Play for the work we put into designing a social impact game,” says Clay Ewing, the game’s designer, coder, and head of NERDLab. “Increasing the visibility of the game raises awareness about the issue and hopefully creates empathy for the staggering amount of people without paid sick days in the restaurant industry.”

The team that developed Unsavory consists of: School of Communication Professor Clay Ewing, game designer and coder; Interactive Media Master of Fine Art student Pablo Obando, artist; Interactive Media Master of Fine Art student Brandon Wilson, artist; Motion Pictures Master of Fine Art student Andrew Curtis Gaines, writer; Alejandra Jimenez, composer.

Unsavory is available for free on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. For more information, please visit http://playunsavory.com.

For more information on the International Serious Play Awards, please visit http://seriousplayconference.com/awards.