A Perfect Marriage: Financial Literacy & Gaming

Does thinking about finances make you anxious and stressed? Probably yes, but then you aren’t alone. In America, for instance, more than half of the population feels that way. And all this isn’t because you, as an individual, are financially impaired somehow. The problem runs deeper and mainstream educational systems are to be blamed. For one, they leave us unprepared for real-world financial matters, and because of this, 63% of those suffering from financial anxiety are young people, aged eighteen to thirty-four years.

On one hand, mortgages, interest repayments, and risk exposure are integral to the daily lives of ordinary Americans. Yet, 66% of the nation’s population lacks financial literacy and has no clue about what these realities actually entail. Not knowing how to save, for example, they keep sinking deeper into debt, unable to plan their retirement. The scenario isn’t much different elsewhere in the world, but everything’s not lost still.

Educating the masses on financial matters can help. There’s empirical evidence for this claim — by receiving merely ten hours of financial education. The correlation between education and capability is in fact obvious for financial matters, as it is with other aspects of our lives. In this regard, educators have been discovering new and effective ways for some time now. But today, in this post-blockchain era, we have unprecedented tools for imparting financial education. The learning process can now be entertaining and invisible, which is tremendously significant. So let’s see how.

Play to Learn: Exploring Education’s Fun Side

Remember! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Games aren’t merely a way to relax, but they also help us learn better. Much better, in fact, as studies have shown how eighty percent of students believe in being more productive while learning through gamified methods. After all, a dull and boring curriculum is of interest to none. And can we learn about something without liking it at all? Not really, as we know well from experience.

Whether one agrees or not, games have been teaching us a lot anyway. Sudoku sharpens analytic thinking, Scrabble builds vocabulary, and Lego Tower teaches teamwork. And these aren’t the only games we have. Anyway, the crucial point is that learning through games is invisible and interactive, which are the method’s biggest strengths. To better understand the role of invisibility, consider the difference between learning your native language and, say, a foreign language. Learning the former is much more organic than the latter, and therefore also effortless, like the game-driven method of learning.

On the other hand, games motivate us to learn better by being interactive, as we seek the pleasurable experience on offer. Based on this realization, the demand for edutainment has been increasing steadily. Particularly in the post-pandemic times, when learners remained locked in their homes for what seemed like an eternity, the demand and need for fun ways of learning have strengthened manifolds. And as that happened, innovators rose to the occasion, leveraging innovative technologies to ensure better learning.

Imparting Financial Wisdom Through Blockchain Gaming

Currently, the world has 3.24 billion gamers, with access to internet-enabled mobile devices and computers. These are mostly tech-savvy people, comprising not just youngsters but also elderlies. And in recent years, the emergence of blockchain-based decentralized gaming has been substantially appealing to this population.

Thanks to the Play-to-Earn (P2E) model, these gaming protocols have real monetary implications, which is a tremendous incentive for participation. Furthermore, innovation is already underway to integrate the user-oriented nature of blockchain gaming with the seamless, immersive experience of traditional gaming, thus enhancing the domain’s value proposition.

By turning in-game items into a distinct asset class and by integrating financial instruments into the game mechanics, blockchain gaming is the cutting-edge means to financial literacy. The choices you make within the game-world are in fact financial choices, but they don’t feel as burdensome as they used to. Why? Because now they are fun and have a more engaging purpose. From buying and selling gaming items to trading them for arbitrage and generating passive income by staking or lending, blockchain gaming offers myriad ways of learning finance. The more you do it, the better you become. And that too, while indulging your passion for gaming all through.

Gone are the days when parents scolded their wards for gaming, perceiving their action as a waste of time. Avoiding gaming to get a job is unnecessary now and we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the playing-to-learn maxim. Schools may not teach us to be financially aware, but games definitely will. Moving forward, they will introduce newer and newer avenues leading to sound and deep-seated financial literacy. And the better we become at this, the lesser will be our chances of faltering while micro-managing finances on an everyday level.

Gaming The Unbanked: Towards Inclusive Financial Literacy

To conclude this discussion, it’s worthwhile to comment some more on the point with which we began. America is one of the world’s leading economies, with tremendous national wealth and growth. Even then, not everyone is well, especially when it comes to money matters. Earning alone cannot ensure a good life, but let’s not get into the depths of this claim now.

If inadequate financial literacy can be such a major cause for suffering in prosperous societies, can you imagine the condition of the world’s deprived communities? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, the situation needs to change. Expanding or improving the traditional banking system won’t help, because these communities are unbanked even today.

However, since internet and mobile penetration is improving steadily in most parts of the world, blockchain gaming can help. Presently, it is our best bet at imparting financial literacy in an inclusive and borderless manner. And over time, we can build a financially literate world. A fairer and qualitatively better world, where competition and collaboration co-exist in harmony, and where financial matters bring fulfillment not anxiety.

  • Mindbender Monday Series -this is part 1 of a 3 part series on Gaming and Financial Literacy

Musharraf Mohammed

A blockchain and crypto writer, traveler, poet, and a few other interesting and foolish things in between.

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