You may have heard the term gamification – the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences – but probably not in the context of personal finance. At least not until now.
The Investor Education Fund's (IEF) is trying to change our perception that financial literacy isn't fun with The Cranial Cash Clash, a game designed to test your financial acuity through a series of skill-testing multiple-choice questions ranging from "episodes" like Debt Drama, Quest to Invest, Scam Exam, Saving for School and Investment Shopping. Like any good game, you can rack up points, compete against the clock and duke it out against others on Facebook and Twitter. Money-challenged players can even pause the game or tap 'brain booster' hints when they're really totally stumped.
"This game is designed to help people self-assess their financial knowledge and then help them learn about these topics on the most extensive financial literacy site in Canada," IEF president Tom Hamza says.
When all the questions are answered and explained, a final score is tallied and one of three awards (gold, silver or bronze) is given to the player based on the number of correct answers, time and total lifelines used. Players are then offered a slew of relevant resources they can e-mail themselves to help improve their overall financial proficiency.
While the game may not necessary make turn you into a true "finance is fun" believer, a pitiful score may be just enough to goad you into smartening up about money. Because, after all, there's nothing fun about having to worry about your financial freedom.
The game is available at GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca and on mobile devices operating on Apple iOS and Google Android.