Financial Education Game

Project Windfall

 

A fintech company with a mission to help people talk about money wanted to teach Gen Z kids essential financial skills that aren’t taught in schools. Part Time Evil developed a ten minute prototype game that took advantage of the benefits of gamified learning and drastically improved users’ understanding of financial concepts.

The Challenge: Teaching Kids About Money

Our client recognized the need to teach financial literacy to younger generations like Gen Z.

Financial educators and planners hoping to work with a younger audience face three main challenges:

  1. Gen Z is not effectively learning financial literacy in school programs. Statistics show 87% of teens admit they don’t know much about personal finance, but 35% want to learn how to save, and 28% know that a budget is important.
  2. Parents of GenZers want to impart financial wisdom, but may lack time, tools, and awareness to do so effectively. Yet 41% of American adults said they deserve a “C, D or F” when it comes to their own personal financial knowledge, and only 23% of kids say that they talk to their parents frequently about money.
  3. Advisors are looking for better ways to connect with their future clients and add value to their brands. According to Financial Advisor magazine, “Winning Gen Z’s business will require strategies that speak to their unique experiences and preferences… That’s important for financial advisors who want to keep as clients the children and grandchildren of existing wealthy clients after they pass along their estates to the next generation(s).”

The Solution

Keeping families in mind, we worked with our client to brainstorm what would help children like theirs actually learn. The result? A game concept ! The goal was to improve the next generations’ lives by providing financial literacy education to kids through a fun game. And what began as a philanthropic vision became a product idea.

Hear it straight from the industry:

 

“Fundamental financial planning is well-suited to  gamification techniques  given the fairly standard set of variables that define most goals. Some apps focus on saving for goals, while others help solve debt-reduction challenges. Because these apps can engage and educate the children of their clients, advisors should analyze, integrate, and formalize the role these tools have in their practices.”
- eBook:  Leveraging Technology to Engage the Family in Financial Planning

Windfall is a fantasy island world mobile game where the user is a young seafarer trying to make it to their next island adventure through strategy and mini-games powered by a realistic financial engine.

We created an experience that combined financial education and dynamics with rich fantasy world art and gameplay that has the appeal of popular games today.

Players learn financial rewards and consequences by mimicking real world behaviors with credit cards, loans, earning, saving, and making purchase and job decisions. This includes exposing players to unexpected events that impacted their financial status and required quick decision-making. To help players throughout their financial journey, the game introduced an integral character – the financial advisor. The advisor delivered critical financial advice and was accessible to player for information and guidance throughout the game.

The Result

In the end, our research showed kids referred to this game as an adventure and JRPG genre, not as an education game. This game also helped to address our client’s three challenges:

  1. Gen Z got an exciting mobile game they loved to compete with friends and classmates. By engaging with the game, kids achieve the main goal of learning critical financial concepts without even realizing it.
  2. Parents of Gen Z felt relief that their kids received quality financial education and had a game they could finally encourage their kids to play.
  3. Advisors saw the potential to increase their number of clients and expand existing client portfolios, as well as grow new meaningful connections with their community and fulfill their philanthropic aspirations.

And when the research was completed, nearly 90% of those who played the game just once improved their understanding of credit cards.

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