As previously written, I have a big issue with the lack of financial education offered to students in our country. I firmly believe that this lack of education is creating faulty financial foundations in our young adults and adult consumers.
There is no doubt that this has contributed to the “Great Recession” and other financial woes we are experiencing today.
As a bankruptcy lawyer, I see personal financial chaos on a day-to-day basis. I still question where this base financial education should come from. Some states have already taken the initiative and introduced personal finance course work in schools. We have also seen that teens are quite eager to learn about personal finance, even more so than traditionally taught subjects.
Maybe financial education, like values, falls into the lap of parents. Or maybe the solution is more abstract. Could financial education come from Facebook?
What if learning financial literacy could be social, interactive and fun? Well, a small group of European social entrepreneurs and developers are trying to make that outlandish concept into reality.
“Kicked Out,” a Facebook game currently in development is designed to teach financial responsibility through player immersion and an intriguing story. The basic premise of the game is simple and quite relatable.
You have been kicked out of your parents’ house and you are now on your own. There are no more creature comforts for you and no more financial support. You are out in the real world on your own and you must learn to survive.
A complete description of the game can be found on the “Kicked Out” website.
While Kickstarter funding for this project failed, the publicity it received facilitated the development of the game. According to the “Kicked Out” team, the “…development is speeding towards a first prototype.”
The Social Media Solution
Shame on me for not thinking outside the box on this issue. 48% of 18 – 34 year olds check Facebook as soon as they wake up with 28% doing so before getting out of bed. More astounding is that 93% of teen social media users have a Facebook account.
Combine these statistics with the overwhelming success of games like CityVille and FarmVille and we may have the perfect medium for introducing financial literacy to our youth. I’m pretty sure I learned basic geography from “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” on the Commodore 64.
I don’t see why “Kicked Out” can’t break barriers and positively influence young pre-consumers through the social media experience. The education is not coming from anywhere else, so why not?
I will be keeping a close eye on this project moving forward and hopefully this starter project can pave the way for future financial education innovation.
Image courtesy of o5com (Flickr)