Anyone who knows me knows that I turn life into the game of life, and many components in life I treat as games as well. It helps me to never take any one thing so seriously that it becomes burdensome, unenjoyable, or monotonous. Obviously, in every game, the goal is to win, right? Same thing with life, and all of its intricacies. That’s why this article stuck out to me so much, because I’ve already been “gamifying” areas of my life such as personal finance, and have been wildly successful in doing so. It’s great to hear that this practice is picking up popularity, since I really do think it can be a key to unlocking doors in people’s financial dealings. Read what Susan Johnston from U.S. News has to say:
“Most consumers know they ought to pay down debt or save for a rainy day. In reality, though, many people don’t. “Gamifying” personal finance—that is, using game mechanics to reward positive behavior and educate players about money in a fun format—is one strategy for bridging that gap between what people know they should do and motivating them to actually do it.
“One of the core problems with personal finance is it’s about deferred rewards,” says Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Gamification Co, which runs a major website and annual event for the burgeoning gamification industry. “You’re making a series of choices today designed to help you retire in 20, 30, or 40 years, which is not rewarding in the near term, so you put it off.”
Smartphone and Web apps like Payoff.com, CreditCardio.com, and others use rewards such as badges or prizes to reward positive financial actions in the short term. However, the gamification of money actually predates the internet, as Zichermann points out. The popular real-estate board game Monopoly dates back to the early 20th century, when its precursor, The Landlord’s Game, was invented as an anti-capitalist game.”
So do I support this new gamification of finances, yes, I absolutely do. I have been doing it myself for years, and I think that it can prove to be an excellent way to motivate people to save, put towards their retirement, manage their debt, all while making the process not quite as painful as I think sometimes it becomes. Get gaming guys!