I’ve always believed that playing games it the next best thing to living the experience yourself so when Paul asked to write a post for our blog about using a fun video game to teach children about money, I jumped on it! What a great idea! Enjoy Paul’s take on the SIMS!
Cheers…Amanda van der Gulik…Excited Life Enthusiast! ;o)
Using the Sims to Demonstrate Finances
When the game “The Sims” was released back in 2000, it captivated audiences of all ages. The game holds a bit of real-life strategy as you work your way through relationships, employment and the responsibilities of paying bills. Although the Sims have evolved quite a bit in the past decade or so, the fundamentals have all remained the same. It’s all about working for success. How does this hit game simulate real life in the matters of finance?
1. Employment – In order for your Sim to have the finer things in life, he or she needs to have a job. The entry levels for these various jobs are easy to manage and you can literally start your career path in virtually any that is available. In order to advance in your career, you have to work at aspects of your life for self-improvement – such as education and physical attributes. The higher in your career you move, the more money you make.
2. Food – In the original Sims, it was quite easy to literally eat your way through a paycheck. As time marches on, you can afford to eat more elaborate meals without worry of not being able to afford such. In the newer versions, your cooking skills actually play a dominant role as to how much you spend on meals – as it is easy to botch a meal that you don’t know how to prepare.
3. Bills – Periodically, bills arrive in the mail. These have to be paid in order to continue the game successfully. The larger your house becomes and the more elaborate your belongings the higher your bills get. It is quite easy to sit very comfortably in a studio apartment sized house while having a commanding role in your career with money to literally do anything you want.
4. Going Out – Although you may have entertaining items in the home, sometimes it’s nice to go out and mingle at your favorite hangout. This is one of the easiest methods to raise your social bar in the game. However, if you don’t have money to take advantage of some of the accoutrements of the gathering spot, your character can’t take advantage of the location. Whether you are going out with friends to have lunch or play a game of pool, you need money.
5. Vacations – It costs money to go on vacations. Much like the above example of going out, most activities require money to enjoy. It’s one thing to plan a vacation and visit a tourist hot-spot, but it takes money to do what you want while you’re there. By accumulating and saving your money while working, you can build a robust bank account that can support your activities in the game – just like it would if it were real life.
Video games can be just as dominant as a provider of life lessons as an actual life experience. Just because they are viewed as digital entertainment doesn’t mean that they are any less accurate with how things work in real life. The Sims is a great example of many aspects of life that your children need to understand and learn. What better way of helping with the message of financing than to use something they can connect with?
Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.