Client: Stichting Weet Wat Je BesteedtStichting Weet Wat Je Besteedt organises various activities to increase the (financial) self-reliance of young people. Discussions with the target group showed that there is a considerable need to simulate the choices you make ‘when you are grown up’ within a safe but realistic environment. IJsfontein designed the MoneyMatters game.
Stichting Weet Wat Je Besteedt organizes various activities to increase the (financial) self-reliance for young people. Conversations with the target group showed that there is a considerable need to simulate the choices you make ‘when you grow up’ within a safe but realistic environment. IJsfontein designed the MoneyMatters game for young people in the second stage of pre-vocational secondary education (Dutch VMBO) and the first stage of senior secondary vocational education (Dutch MBO).
How it works
In the game, a player plays the life of a person from 14 through to 30 years old and proceeds through each year as if it were a round in which he/she has to take a number of steps in which choices have to be made. The dilemmas a player faces all relate to: study, work, spare time and spending patterns. The dilemmas change with the ages and depend on the choices that were made at an earlier stage. This means, for instance, that a 16-year-old has other choices to make concerning his/her spare time than a 15-year-old and the virtual player has to turn 18 before cars are even considered. Each new stage of life is illustrated by means of videos. Because you can never be certain about the course your life will take, the player is also faced with random real life events such as an accident or theft. The game ends when the player is 30 years old. Then the final situation is shown that resulted from the choices the player made. The students can then compare their situations and discuss them.
Doing is believing
Games encourage learning by doing within a relevant context. In a safe and secure environment things that can be hard to achieve ‘in real life’ can be experimented with. By being actively involved in a certain subject, it becomes ‘yours’. Doing is believing. The game is part of a study programme and pays attention to the four learning styles as defined by Kolb. After a game session a group discussion in a class setting takes place in which there is time to reflect. At home, the students can play the game again to improve their scores.
After its launch, 20 senior secondary vocational education schools applied in the first week. The reactions of both students and teachers were very positive.
Reaction by teacher of the pilot lesson Arent Piek:
“During an economics class, students in the fourth year of the top junior general secondary education classes played the game. Its excellent design kept them fascinated for the entire lesson. Sometimes the choices were hard to make: work or study? Marriage? Children? Tax returns. All themes they will encounter in real life as well. The game helps to deal with them in an accessible way. In short, a game that ties in well with the way they learn and their everyday life. The subsequent discussion in particular provides interesting stories…”
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