Spending your free time playing video games not only helps develop adaptive problem-solving and decision-making skills but also can have a positive impact on your financial quotient. Personal finance isn’t a game, but you can learn these prudent financial principles by being a gamer.
Resource Allocation and Utilization
Resources form the crux of role-playing games, where players control a character or armies, explore vast worlds, and take on challenging quests. Proper resource management is an expert-level task for gamers. In titles like Civilizations and Command and Conquer, players must make informed decisions on what items and upgrades to own in order to make their progress easier.
The same can be applied to real-world scenarios, where one must use the right budgeting and investing strategies. Also, resource management in games can introduce players to the intricacies of diversifying one’s assets and using different financial instruments to level up in life.
Actions and Consequences
In the western-themed adventure game Red Dead Redemption 2, the honor system plays a significant role in your overall progress. The honor ranking fluctuates based on the manner you play the game. If you help people instead of looting them, your honor level goes up. This, in turn, gives you access to better deals in the game’s marketplace.
This can be correlated with credit score in the real world, where paying your dues on time and borrowing within your means improves your score. This consequently unlocks better interest rates and deals when applying for a loan or a new credit card.
Gear Up and Stand Tall
Hoarding coins, orbs, and abilities without using them is a strategy almost every gamer follows. It is all about having the right weapon or ability while engaging a high-level boss. Always being locked and loaded for an unexpected challenge is embedded in a gamer’s DNA.
This can be equated to equipping yourself with an emergency fund in real life. Life becomes a lot more challenging when an unforeseen expense comes your way. So, it’s always ideal to cumulate 6 months of expenses as a reserve to be used in case of an emergency.
Pursuing Gratifying Aspirations
Games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have big tickets items in the in-game marketplace which encourages players to grind and spend an absurd amount of time trying to unlock them. For example, the Legendary Daedric armor in Skyrim can be only obtained by leveling up all skill sets and obtaining extremely rare items required for forging. This requires a significant level of dedication and commitment.
This is similar to any goal-based investments like mutual funds or PPF where strict financial discipline has to be maintained until the goal is achieved in full. The ability to not waver when faced with adversities and sticking to ones investing pattern without losing sight of the goal can be compared to a gamers completionist behavior.
Mastering The Market Cycle
Some game economies like the one in EVE, a spaced based multiplayer RPG, simulate real-world scenarios where items are subjected to loss and depreciation. There is a constant fluctuation in the value of the items in the market which is volatile like its real-world counterpart.
Observing and trading valuable items in the in-game economies can inculcate the art of juggling one’s finances which can translate to better understating the stock market. Keeping track of interest rates, state of the economy and the performance of investments can give you a better chance of choosing the right investing strategies at any given time.
A direct comparison can be drawn between the overwhelming sense of gratification a gamer experiences by living vicariously through a character and the sense of accomplishment an investor receives after achieving a financial goal. Ultimately, video games help players realize real-world goals as they directly or indirectly augment their capacity for achievement. The cerebral strategies gamers deploy and the learnings they gather from them invariably contribute to their real-world financial management skills. So, game on!
Nikhilesh Raghunatha Kurup is a brand marketing minion by day and avid gamer by night.