SCHOOLED is a mobile game that teaches 15 – 25-year-olds about personal finance through the guise of running a university. By leveraging gamification principles, such as clearly defined goals and productive failure, SCHOOLED helps players grasp the complexities of personal finance and feel confident applying those skills in real-world situations.
The concept, ideation, and design of SCHOOLED were all part of my senior thesis project that aimed to address the problem of financial illiteracy. By playing SCHOOLED, players get to spend their time not only having fun but also learning important life skills. A small amount of time playing SCHOOLED can mean less financial headaches in the future.
Undergrad Senior Thesis
WHY FINANCIAL LITERACY?
Having seen a lot of my friends and co-workers struggle with understanding financial terms and concepts, I realized that there might be a wider problem that needed a solution. For the first phase of my thesis, I did a lot of research to find out whether or not lacking financial literacy was a "me" or a "we" problem. I found out that only 8 percent of millennials have a high level of financial competency and only about 25% have demonstrated basic financial knowledge. That leaves over half of the millennial population struggling to understand how their financial decisions affect them long term.
WHY A GAME?
Having conducted lots of secondary research concerning the size of the problem I needed to know more about what millennials were specifically looking for. I sent out a survey containing a mix of open and closed-ended questions and this is what I found.
After conducting my primary and secondary research, I used that information to craft two personas to design for.
HOW TO PLAY
Players must track their spending, apply for loans, and build infrastructure, all while trying to attract and retain students in order to build a financially successful university.