Kids’ computer games these days seem to fall in one of two buckets: violent and bloody or mindless mouse-clickers.
Wouldn’t you prefer a game that will engage your kids, and maybe even challenge and educate them? We know, we know. It’s beginning to sound like an unattainable combination.
But an upcoming virtual game called Kicked Out aims to teach financial literacy to kids and teens, with fun and without violence.
Its creators are currently raising money through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to make it a reality. The game presents users with an imaginary scenario in which they are “kicked out” of the house by their parents with a chunk of cash and a place to live. Users spend the cash as they wish and the game provides personal finance advice along with each player’s financial decisions.
The takeaway: Your kids can make major financial blunders and it won’t cost you a dime.
And according to the creators of Kicked Out (who were coached by behavioral economists, debt counselors and psychologists), the ideas behind the game are grounded in sound personal-finance principles. As the game’s fundraising page explains: “Dealing with money is largely based on intuition rather than rational choice… Telling kids is not enough. Children need the possibility to experience financial challenges.”
Kicked Out will provide kids and teens with the hands-on practice they need to set reasonable financial goals when they exit the virtual world. Alan Webber, Co-founder of Fast Company and supporter of Kicked Out, explains: “Kicked Out encourages real financial awareness. It’s exactly what needs to happen.”
And, this game’s got legs: The founders of kicked out predict that teens who regularly play the game (at least twice a week) for three months will be “three times less likely to become over indebted.”
Finally, a good reason for teens to hang around on Facebook all afternoon long.