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How video games taught me to manage money

By Mika Amador, Brighterlife.com.ph

Comments (2)

02 ---Videogames---Major-Nelson-smI know what you’re thinking. What about money can you learn about video games? Quite a lot. It’s an expensive hobby and I’ve had my fair share of compulsive spending when I felt the urge to play virtual skirmish with friends or be the first to finish the latest first-person shooter franchise.

Video games are not all blood, gore, and violence. If you take a closer look, personal finance can be learned through shooting zombies, building virtual infrastructures and army camps, and racing cars.

As I’ve said, it’s an expensive hobby, an original PS3 or PC game costs around P3,000 while mobile games can peak at around P640. The first thing you need to establish is to decide how much you’re going to spend for this past time and when. When a new game comes out (especially on the App Store), the price is at its peak. But if you wait a couple of months, when the demand lowers, the price goes down with it, too. It’s simple economics: the law of supply and demand.

Almost every game has its own in-game economy. I remember playing Need for Speed: Underground where you are given a certain amount of money to work around at the start. As you complete races and missions, your money grows. And as you progress, your car must be able to keep up with in-game opponents. You then decide that you need to upgrade your ride. What will you buy first? A swanky new hood? A stronger engine? A paint job? Or a new set of wheels? Have you saved enough money to afford the upgrades? Spend your money wisely.

SimCity is a good training ground for learning economics and budgeting. You’re to build a city and develop through building infrastructures and maintaining the peace and order among your citizens. Spending money doesn’t end in constructing buildings: you have to be able to afford the maintenance of your buildings which is also known as the upkeep. You need to keep your citizens happy by providing entertainment and jobs for them to earn money. It’s a world on its own, and you’re in charge.

I learned to strategize and plan in StarCraft, a real-time strategy war game that enables you control units and structures to destroy your enemy. You build infrastructures and produce an army. You defend your territory and when you’re ready, you strike and conquer the enemy. It’s also the same with planning your finances. You have to know the things you have to build and invest on, prepare for the emergencies and utilize your resources to reach your goal.

What about you? Do you know any video game that taught you about managing finances?

Photo used under Creative Commons from Major Nelson

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JO Velasco on

A lot of sports games also teach you how to manage finances. Sports games have evolved from just playing to actually managing teams and players. The NBA2K and FIFA Series have taught me how to budget and prioritize. Trading for important players, how much salary to offer, when is the best time to make a trade and being able to budget money earned from wins are just some of the things one must consider in managing these teams. These video games are awesome because they give you the experience of being a real team owner or general manager.

Christian Hudson on

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