Fundación Capital wanted to inspire better financial literacy in teens in Brazil and Columbia in order to promote economic mobility.
In Brazil and Columbia there are significant challenges to communicating the benefits and finer points of sound financial behaviors to youth and teens. Not only is there widespread distrust of banks, but financial education does not feel fun or accessible. Fundación Capital identified two key elements of financial literacy that they wanted teens to learn: setting up a savings account with a bank and creating a savings goal that can be worked towards. These are the cornerstones of financial literacy, and often the best possible way to empower young adults to achieve economic mobility. However, in order for teens to want to learn about financial strategy there has to be a clear motivation. This line of thought led to the idea of embedding educational content in a compelling game experience.
The Audience: Teen mobile phone gamers.
The Goal: Convey good financial literacy behavior subtly embedded in a fun mobile game.
We started by analyzing mobile game trends in this demographic area and creating three game "pitches" that all orbited around a few key gaming tools. Inactive gaming, a style popular among millennial users, became a key component. Inactive gaming gives the ability to play for a second on a phone then put it down and pick it up again a few minutes later to play for another burst of seconds rather than sitting for half an hour and playing non-stop. We also decided that based on the market popularity of similar games and the learning goals we had for this project, creating a microeconomics game where we simulate running a small scale financial ecosystem would serve us well. Based on these goals we pitched three concepts to the youth in an online survey with 600+ respondents and in focus groups of several dozen individuals.
After gathering all these responses we landed on a game where you have to run a successful restaurant, balancing your daily costs and setting savings goals to upgrade your restaurant and make a profit. We emphasized creating a bank account to get a bonus from interest and to avoid being robbed which can happen in the game if you leave all your cash in your register. We embedded very simple polling questions at each level barrier, meaning that in order for the player to level up they had to answer a simple question such as: "What's the benefit of a bank?" which allowed for success metrics to be gathered as players engaged more with the game.
Custom identities play a large role in the appeal of games for this audience so we allowed players to create and upgrade a personal avatar and the look and feel of their restaurant along the way.
The game went through a number of iterations, and was tested with the target market in three different sessions along the way until a final version was completed.
Balance of Game Tools
EduChef will be released very soon on iOS and Android in Columbia and Brazil!
In our testing sessions students were very engaged with the game, excited to get it as soon as it was released and were able to report on many of the educational benefits we aimed for in the development.