Money matters

This online game teaches kids about money, financial products and the consequences of their actions.

It turns out, many young kids have the expectancy that one day they will be rich and everything will be affordable. Another problem that coexists with that is that nobody teaches kids about what a mortgage means, or what a loan really means, or an investment, or how stocks work.

In the game the player plays as himself, and is asked to make choices every year between the ages of 14 and 30. You have time and money as your resources. The choices you make are related to: jobs, studying, transportation, housing, lifestyle, pets, friends, health and insurance, and a range of financial products like loans, investments, savings, and mortgage.

Between each year the player is faced with random events like accidents or financial troubles. These influence your resources for the next year, and you will be forced to alter your plans. Through the game, players experience the nature of cause and effect, and will find out the future is full of expenses that you must prepare for. If you chose to stop studying at 16 and move out, chances are you will not get a very profitable job, and you will not be able to support a family or a nice car. You will be able to experiment with all kinds of financial products, and find out their basic uses and disadvantages.

What was great about this game is what we see when kids play it. I have seen a kid hang on to her 3 virtual dogs no matter what happened. Even after breaking a leg, she would rather stop working than lose those dogs! That tells me we have succeeded in making a game world that has true meaning for the player. For me it was a very satisfying experience to have kids explain to me what the game had taught them, and have it match the goal of the game exactly.



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