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The Inclusive Economy

Play Games, Have Fun and Build Financial Prowess

By Denisse Dubrovsky, Guest Contributor and Nick Maynard, Guest Contributor on 08/22/2011 @ 10:00 AM

Tags: Financial Empowerment

Are you playing Angry Birds on your smartphone? Have you taken a break from work to play some Tetris or Bejewelled? Stopped by FarmVille while on Facebook? Chances are you have, since almost everyone is playing video games these days. And the explosion of gaming on smartphones and Facebook is only enhancing this trend. With Financial Entertainment, Americans now have the opportunity to engage with financial education through fun, addictive casual online games.

National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund have partnered to improve financial capability among American households. Through a new, bilingual (English/Spanish) online casual game platform, these award winning games now have the potential to benefit a much larger audience. Earlier this week, we launched a national Farm Blitz Tournament to engage families in this exciting financial education. Join us!

Combining the most popular casual game mechanic in the world—a “Match-3” puzzle game like Bejeweled — and farm motif with financial education content, Farm Blitz has an addictive, immersive quality. Players cash in crops by matching veggies in a row and save to plan for emergencies like time warps and other “natural” disasters, all the while watching out for the hungry bunnies ready to munch if debt gets out of control!

So, since it’s addicting, it might as well be good for you, right? Farm Blitz teaches about:

  • The power of compound interest, both positive and negative
  • The value of low-interest, long-term savings
  • The perils of high-interest, short-term debt

Farm Blitz has won an EIFLE award and been nominated for a Games for Change Direct Impact Award.

D2D (www.d2dfund.org) is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 organization focused on innovations that expand savings and personal finance opportunities for all Americans, in part by creating, testing, and deploying innovations like financial entertainment. Taking cues from business and entertainment strategies, this innovation project works with and for consumers in the development of engaging new media to improve personal financial capability, self-confidence and knowledge. Financial entertainment captures the immersive quality of casual online games to teach important financial lessons. The current financial entertainment library features five titles, three of which are in Spanish and English.

D2D partners with organizations to distribute these games to consumers; partners include the military, community colleges, financial services firms, employers, government and community organizations. In addition, financial entertainment is regularly played in middle school and high school classrooms across the US.

This innovation is supported by the Financial Literacy Center. Visit www.nclr.financialentertainment.org for more details and to play!

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