Financial literacy is something which effects, virtually, everyone on earth. Despite never wanting to admit it, it’s hard to deny that the world is run by money.

We purchase or rent the roofs above our heads, the food that goes on the table and even the entertainment we consume. Thus, it’s hard to underplay the necessity for financial skills.

Fortunately for gamers, some experts have recently suggested that video games may well provide a strong training ground for individuals—both young and old—to develop financial literacy.

But before you go and spend a small fortune on your favourite pay-to-win claiming it is a lesson in finance, let’s take a look at what these experts are saying, and how we can use that knowledge to shape games into a tool that can teach us about our financial lives.

Real Virtual Money

If you are familiar with any online gaming ecosystem, chances are you are familiar with the idea of virtual economies.

While most players will obtain the vast majority of their in-game wealth from within the game, there are often ways for players to supplement their in-game wealth by exchanging their real money for the virtual equivalent.

From the get-go, this creates a strong link between virtual value and real world value, with players easily able to quantify how much their virtual horde is worth to them (and other players).

Given, this usually works in a one-way model where players can Exchange real world cash for virtual currency and not the opposite. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a profound impact.

Naturally, within multiplayer spaces players want to trade. This opens up the floor for shrewd negotiating, peer-to-peer trading and system-based trading (through action houses and NPCs).

Inevitably, this sees players want to see their net value increase. Whether that be in the inherent value of items, or in the easy to monitor ticker of their currency stores.

In short, financial systems are rife within modern gaming, and their fundamental presence in the multiplayer space means that players quickly become acquainted with many techniques to get the most bang for their buck.

Something which is especially important when the real-world avenues for such behaviours are remarkably few and far between in the world of franchising hyper-capitalism.

That said, presence alone does not necessarily teach us valuable financial literacy. After all, if you can easily go and grind or gamble for some more gold at a moments notice, you aren’t necessarily going to learn how to be a fiscal individual.

From Conversations to Implicit Mechanics

Contextualising the in-game financial world is key to extracting strong financial skills from gameplay.

Such contextualisation can come from many avenues be it from discussions with a parent or peer, or simply being implicit within the game’s design.

Let’s look at two examples of how implicit design can help to teach some basics of financial literacy.

When playing the iconic Minecraft in survival mode, players drop all of their items when they die. Regardless of whether they were coming up against foes, were a victim of a freak natural accident or simply mis-clicked, those items are dropped on death.

Or worse, in the case of lava, they are lost forever. This incentivises players to think carefully about what assets they keep on their person at any given time, promoting the idea of safely storing items in chests.

Such ideology can easily be taken over into the financial sphere; drawing analogies with keeping cash or storing value in banks. Implicitly teaching a valuable lesson about financial security.

While that may be a very simple example, games are also capable of presenting much more complex ideas.

Take trading in any MMORPG, like World of Warcraft. Here you often have two options: you can find another to trade with directly or you can create a post on the auction house to broadcast your sale to people all across the game.

The catch? Auction houses very often take a cut of the profits, acting as a useful but costly intermediary.

If you are into MMORPGs but hate the rates you get from the in-game marketplace, it’s time to get your hands on some gear at a fair price. Head over to Eldorado.gg for everything from OSRS gold to Fortnite accounts for sale.

Such systems teach players that there are often multiple ways to approach financial transactions. Akin to selling your unwanted personal belongings between your closed group of peers or across the globe through an intermediary like eBay.

These two basic examples demonstrate the implicit gameplay mechanics which can help players become acquainted with financial literacy in a safe, virtual environment.

But there are countless other examples. From gambling to rental and even interest, modern games dip their toes into many of the fundamentals of financial literacy, exposing their players to concepts which will help them in the real world.

Context is Key

Granted, not all games will produce the most reliable models for individuals to base their financial literacy off. Thus, it’s important for young players in particular to be engaged with proactively when it comes to in-game finances.

In this way, there is little replacement for open discussions about in-game finances and larger scale financial literacy. After all, it is in the interest of game makers to have players continually spend more and more real money and time within their virtual worlds, warping the weight of real-to-virtual monetary transactions within these models.

But by keeping discussions open, and embracing systems for what they are, games can become training grounds for future financial situations.

Offering players the opportunity to try, fail and try again at many different, common financial interactions which, with the right support, can help to shape an individual into becoming incredibly financially literate.

Financial literacy is something which effects, virtually, everyone on earth. Despite never wanting to admit it, it’s hard to deny that the world is run by money.

We purchase or rent the roofs above our heads, the food that goes on the table and even the entertainment we consume. Thus, it’s hard to underplay the necessity for financial skills.

Fortunately for gamers, some experts have recently suggested that video games may well provide a strong training ground for individuals—both young and old—to develop financial literacy.

But before you go and spend a small fortune on your favourite pay-to-win claiming it is a lesson in finance, let’s take a look at what these experts are saying, and how we can use that knowledge to shape games into a tool that can teach us about our financial lives.

Real Virtual Money

If you are familiar with any online gaming ecosystem, chances are you are familiar with the idea of virtual economies.

While most players will obtain the vast majority of their in-game wealth from within the game, there are often ways for players to supplement their in-game wealth by exchanging their real money for the virtual equivalent.

From the get-go, this creates a strong link between virtual value and real world value, with players easily able to quantify how much their virtual horde is worth to them (and other players).

Given, this usually works in a one-way model where players can Exchange real world cash for virtual currency and not the opposite. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a profound impact.

Naturally, within multiplayer spaces players want to trade. This opens up the floor for shrewd negotiating, peer-to-peer trading and system-based trading (through action houses and NPCs).

Inevitably, this sees players want to see their net value increase. Whether that be in the inherent value of items, or in the easy to monitor ticker of their currency stores.

In short, financial systems are rife within modern gaming, and their fundamental presence in the multiplayer space means that players quickly become acquainted with many techniques to get the most bang for their buck.

Something which is especially important when the real-world avenues for such behaviours are remarkably few and far between in the world of franchising hyper-capitalism.

That said, presence alone does not necessarily teach us valuable financial literacy. After all, if you can easily go and grind or gamble for some more gold at a moments notice, you aren’t necessarily going to learn how to be a fiscal individual.

From Conversations to Implicit Mechanics

Contextualising the in-game financial world is key to extracting strong financial skills from gameplay.

Such contextualisation can come from many avenues be it from discussions with a parent or peer, or simply being implicit within the game’s design.

Let’s look at two examples of how implicit design can help to teach some basics of financial literacy.

When playing the iconic Minecraft in survival mode, players drop all of their items when they die. Regardless of whether they were coming up against foes, were a victim of a freak natural accident or simply mis-clicked, those items are dropped on death.

Or worse, in the case of lava, they are lost forever. This incentivises players to think carefully about what assets they keep on their person at any given time, promoting the idea of safely storing items in chests.

Such ideology can easily be taken over into the financial sphere; drawing analogies with keeping cash or storing value in banks. Implicitly teaching a valuable lesson about financial security.

While that may be a very simple example, games are also capable of presenting much more complex ideas.

Take trading in any MMORPG, like World of Warcraft. Here you often have two options: you can find another to trade with directly or you can create a post on the auction house to broadcast your sale to people all across the game.

The catch? Auction houses very often take a cut of the profits, acting as a useful but costly intermediary.

If you are into MMORPGs but hate the rates you get from the in-game marketplace, it’s time to get your hands on some gear at a fair price. Head over to Eldorado.gg for everything from OSRS gold to Fortnite accounts for sale.

Such systems teach players that there are often multiple ways to approach financial transactions. Akin to selling your unwanted personal belongings between your closed group of peers or across the globe through an intermediary like eBay.

These two basic examples demonstrate the implicit gameplay mechanics which can help players become acquainted with financial literacy in a safe, virtual environment.

But there are countless other examples. From gambling to rental and even interest, modern games dip their toes into many of the fundamentals of financial literacy, exposing their players to concepts which will help them in the real world.

Context is Key

Granted, not all games will produce the most reliable models for individuals to base their financial literacy off. Thus, it’s important for young players in particular to be engaged with proactively when it comes to in-game finances.

In this way, there is little replacement for open discussions about in-game finances and larger scale financial literacy. After all, it is in the interest of game makers to have players continually spend more and more real money and time within their virtual worlds, warping the weight of real-to-virtual monetary transactions within these models.

But by keeping discussions open, and embracing systems for what they are, games can become training grounds for future financial situations.

Offering players the opportunity to try, fail and try again at many different, common financial interactions which, with the right support, can help to shape an individual into becoming incredibly financially literate.