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Where Will You be Financially in 40 Years?

Fin Lit gameWhat sounds more appealing to you – reading a bunch of boring facts online or playing a game to learn the same exact thing? You’d probably choose the latter. In fact, research shows a majority of millennials see clear benefits from playing digital games. Two in three (67 percent) say that games are important in helping them to learn how to create winning strategies and 7 out of 10 (70 percent) feel it aids them in learning how to solve problems. The proof is in the pudding, as they say – and that’s where gamification and personal finances come into play (literally!).

Today, the AICPA and the Ad Council launched a free digital game, Yesterday’s Tomorrow.’ The game is a new resource from Feed the Pig to help millennials build savings skills, a product of the idea Scott Garner submitted for the Feed the Pig Game Design Challenge. The challenge invited people to submit ideas for digital games to help educate Feed the Pig’s target audience. More than 70 ideas were submitted, and his concept was chosen to help educate millennials through gamification.

Feed the Pig, a partnership between the AICPA and the Ad Council, aims to help young adults adopt positive saving habits at a time when they’re making major life decisions – starting a career, buying a house, getting married, starting a family – all of which greatly impact their finances. To further the reach and impact of the campaign, the AICPA and the Ad Council partnered with Games for Change (G4C) to launch the Feed the Pig Challenge.  

Last year, I represented the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission on a panel of experts at the Games and Media Summit at the Tribeca Film Festival, where we chose ‘Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ as the winning concept. The game’s inspiration comes from the idea that you technically always have a relationship with both your future and past self, particularly when it comes to financial decisions. The game jumps from point-to-point in your life to see how financial decisions have a tangible impact at different stages. It illustrates that sound choices lead to a more prosperous and comfortable life as the years go by. Overall, players will walk away from the game with a stronger grasp of personal finance topics.

The digital game is presented in the narrative form of a photo album, with snapshots that represent both required and elective financial decisions that people make throughout their lives. Whether the player decides to work a part-time job while in school, get married, or travel the world, they learn the impact their decisions will have later in life as the game progresses. Developed by Crafter.life Studios, Yesterday’s Tomorrow is available at game.feedthepig.org and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to play through.

I’m proud to have been a part of a game that will positively impact millennials in a practical (but fun!) way – I mean who doesn’t want to predict where you’ll be in 40 years? I encourage you to check out the game for yourself, and pass it along to your millennial peers, friends, children and grandchildren. Here’s to joining the trend of learning through gamification!

Greg Anton, CPA, CGMA and Chair of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission

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