Millions of people play online games daily


Bill Coffin, CCEE Chairman, shares insights about online gaming to teach financial literacy.

Games make learning economics fun!

I  wonder how many of us interested in financial literacy and reading this post are as adept at the online game, Farmville, as the 32 million young people are who play this addicting  game each day.

The popular game is one of many reasons why its owner Zynga, formed in just 2007, is about to debut its Initial Public Offering  through the sale of $2 billion of securities with an initial market valuation for the company of $21 billion.

Online gaming has come a long way in a short period of time. It is estimated that over 100 million people in America, and over one billion worldwide, play online games on a regular basis.

Education is one area where games has not significantly penetrated — until now. In the last 12 months, a new crop of start-ups and venture capitalists are beginning to fill the void with fun, informative games to entertain and teach finance inside and outside of the classroom.

Young people can learn about biology, dinosaurs, or geography by playing in The World of Miamiopio, a hot new game from DreamBox. Learning teaches math to children in kindergarten through second grade. Dreambox has been successful in finding the balance between education and gaming by creating over one million separate paths to tailor the experience to the child’s level of interest and competence.

In the area of financial literacy, games are starting to appear. Visa and the NFL have teamed up to create Financial Football where players must pass certain tests or questions to advance to the goal line. US Bank has introduced Escape From Knab where travelers are stranded in the cyberspace world of Knab and must earn money and invest it wisely to get back home.

Games are here to stay, are immensely popular with young people and are proven to enhance the educational experience. CCEE believes we cannot be left at the starting block while this important form of financial literacy education is exploding. Look for more on this topic form California’s economic education leader.

— William Coffin, Chairman, California Council on Economic Education


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