Business Today
Play these games to improve your financial quotient
Play these novel internet-based games that helps you enhance your understanding of personal finance.
Learning finance the fun way

Learning finance the fun way

Are you sloppy with your finances? If the answer is yes, do not despair. You are not alone. There are many around you who may be equally inept at handling their money. This can be either due to a genuine inability to get one's finances in shape or plain ignorance about how to get the house in order.

For those who are not interested, learning about managing finances is difficult and often boring. "The understanding of personal finance is very low in India. Our research shows that most people are not even aware of the difference between investing and saving," says Juzer Tambawalla, VP & head, marketing communication, Franklin Templeton AMC.

It goes without saying that learning to plan your finances is important for your long-term well-being. "If an individual is financially literate, he will be more aware about opportunities that come his way. The notion of saving and investing has changed over time. Financial knowledge helps define our quality of life," says Kalpesh Ashar, a Sebi registered investment advisor and founder, Full Circle Financial Planning.

However, learning how to manage one's finances is becoming easier with some novel internet-based games being introduced into the market to raise the player's knowledge quotient. For example, in cricket-loving India, Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund has brought investing to the masses through 'FundtasticCup', a game where cricket terms are used to connect with the players. Similarly, Visa has created a financial literacy game modelled on football in partnership with FIFA called Financial Soccer to appeal to US citizens.

Jason Alderman, vice president, global financial literacy, Visa Inc, says as part of 'Practical Money Skills for Life', Visa has created a suite of educational games to help teach people of all ages about personal finance management. He adds, "Teaching consumers about money through 'edutainment' or 'gamification' is an effective means of demystifying a complicated subject by using the compelling and familiar medium of video games to learn while having fun."

Investor

Investor education: The gaming list


Learning finance through simulations featuring real-life situation is perhaps the best way to pick up the subject. This emphasis can be seen in games supported by financial institutions in the US. While some follow a narrative approach wherein the game progresses with the story, others look at creative ways to engage, be it through computer or mobile phones (see The Gaming List).

Fundtastic Cup is in the form of a quiz. The person answers questions and each question is considered a ball. An over is made up of 10 balls. Hence, an individual has to answer 10 questions to proceed to the next round.

Another game from the financial domain on the website, zapak.com, is called 'Game for Money'. Developed with Indian investors in mind, in this game you get virtual cash which can be allocated across financial products such as mutual funds, insurance, real estate, stocks, etc. The player starts by rolling the dice and the character walks that many squares on the board. The place where the player stops describes a situation, for instance, the stock market has fallen or risen and the portfolio shows the same. You can also choose to repair the house and so your money will be spent acccordingly.

The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is another game that helps you improve your financial literacy. The game, available on mobile phones, aims to help participants learn about the importance of financial planning. The free online mini-game was developed by T Rowe Price in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering. While this game was developed for investor education in the US, the concepts shared and the way the game has been designed ensure that people from any country can play and learn at the same time.

According to T Rowe Price, the game imparts financial tips and defines important concepts like setting goals, saving and spending wisely, inflation, asset allocation and diversification.

But do not think that the games are all the same. {mosgallery}, for example, is a mix of story and learning. The game aims to help students learn how to fight fraud. Although this game's focus is on American investors, people with keen interest in stock markets and mystery will find it interesting. The game shows a child taking help of different people to uncover a million dollar fraud. It also teaches how to delve into newspaper stock tables, researching companies through online news and differentiating between an investment and a fraudulent sales pitch.

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