When financial literacy was mandated as part of the National Curriculum back in 2014, it was heralded as a watershed moment for the next generation of adults. Six years on, however, it has yet to be fully implemented by schools nationwide, despite the coronavirus outbreak having triggered an increase in consumer debt.
In fact, most schools have sought to sidestep these recommendations and changes, partially due to a lack of resources and the fact that most teachers don’t feel qualified to impart personal finance lessons to their students.
However, some assistance may be available in the unlikely form of video games, which offer a number of advantages when teaching children personal finance skills. We’ve outlined some of these in detail below!
They Improve the Sense of Self-efficacy Amongst Students
Several of the most popular financial literacy video games have been designed by the Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund, which has conducted widespread research before developing its various titles.
Most importantly, the group has analyzed the impact of specific games in terms of self-efficacy and financial literacy, particularly titles such as Bite Club and Celebrity Calamity.
Testing groups of between nine and 18 people across six different cities, the results showed that participants showcased enhanced financial knowledge and confidence in their financial decision making after playing such games, with the focus on the game having a direct impact on the precise lessons learned by students.
They Increase Engagement Levels Amongst Students
These games also directly target what’s believed to be the main issue with traditional financial education, at least outside of classic school settings.
Of course, this is a lack of engagement between students and subject matter, with traditional financial education quite dry and difficult for youngsters to relate to over any concerted period of time.
Make no mistake; however, video gaming bucks this trend, as it provides a more casual and immersive representation of financial learning and allows students to connect with the topic on a deeper and more meaningful level.
They also provide practical and corporeal scenarios in which people can learn, with this type of experiential learning known to be incredibly effective. This is borne out by the success of demo trading accounts in the forex market, which enable people to access a simulated and real-time marketplace without having to risk their hard-earned capital.
They Improve Knowledge and Knowledge Retention
In instances where video games present content in a more engaging manner, it’s also thought that students benefit from considerably improved knowledge and knowledge retention.
Games also allow for players to remember financial concepts far more easily, as the presentation of educational material in a relaxed and fun environment removes much of the stress associated with learning.
This builds on previous studies that have shown that games have the innate ability to shift cognitive processes, with casual gameplay capable of improving mood, opening the mind, and eradicating learning anxiety.
This lends itself to more effective learning and deeper levels of knowledge retention, without compromising on the ability of individuals to understand the underlying concepts that drive successful money management practices.