My son is an avid gamer and it is the cause of many arguments in our household and much frustration for me as I see it as wasting time that could be more effectively spent more productively.
I recently read an article on generational differences and realised how judgemental I was being around something I know very little about.
And it is clearly something that a lot of people know a lot about seeing as it is HUGE profit generator, out earning all other forms of entertainment for the last couple of years.
With a somewhat open mind I decided to get my son’s take on it and see if the time he is spending on it may provide any lessons for him (and secretly maybe me as well) to use in the real world.
Surprisingly there are a lot of lessons to be learnt; teamwork, focus, strategic thinking and my favourite, the personal finance teachings!
Money Lesson 1: Nobody is born knowing how to do this
Every gamer approaches a game they haven’t played before with the sole intention of becoming good at it. This involves practising the game a lot, like every single day, much to the irritation of his parents!
Personal finance is exactly the same.
We aren’t born with an understanding of it deeply ingrained in our psyche. In fact, it is more like a foreign language we have to take the time to learn.
Gamers often get impatient and frustrated with themselves for not becoming an expert at the game quickly but they persevere because they instinctively know that consistency, patience and taking action is what ultimately gets them on top of the game.
It is the same with money.
To become a money boss means establishing solid money habits and this requires diligence, focus and consistently taking action every day.
Money Lesson 2: Money management involves trade off’s
One of my favourite personal finance podcasters, Paula Pant, has the following opening line that we can afford anything, but not everything, every decision we make involves a trade off against something else. This applies to money, time, energy, attention…
In the game, the gamer has to undertake tasks in order to earn digital cash which they can spend to purchase enhancements for their avatar.
They have to make the choice as to which purchases will add to their experience and be worth the cost and which are a waste of money.
We face the same choices with our real money. We have to be strategic about directing our money to give us the best life experience. That means valuing every pound and making sure each and every one is best used to produce the biggest value.
Money Lesson 3: Saving credits sets you up for a big leap in your game
Gaming developers are happy to help you better some irritating player that always seems to have access to a lot more resources and a lot more enhancements. For a fee, a developer will “sell you” a winning upgrade or provide the intel on how to defeat your nemesis. You can pay for this immediately with real world cold hard cash, or if you don’t have this resource (and your parents refuse to fund you) by building up digital credits from gaming successes.
This is how life works. Foregoing spending all your money now and saving some of it, not only sets you up for a big win down the line but also teaches patience, perseverance and self-control. All very valuable life skills and super powerful money skills.
Money Lesson 4: Quick “wins” are not what they seem
Beware the “Loot Boxes of life”. Gamers pay very real money to gamble on the chance of winning big in their purchased loot box. The reality of the loop box though is that rarely is the expected jackpot.
There are seldom quick wins in life and promised “get rich quick schemes” hardly ever do what they say on the tin.
However, the consistent actions of saving more than we spend and investing over a long term are the true builders of wealth and support us in upscaling our game of life.
Money Lesson 5: Keeping your eye on the goal and having a strategy
According to my son the gamer has one goal and that’s to win. The entire game is the execution of a strategy to do that. And each win means setting the next goal, the next highest score, the next accolade and the next level.
To be successful not only when it comes to money, but also when it comes to life requires a vision, set goals to build towards that vision and a strategy to achieve those goals.
With these boxes ticked we set ourselves up for successes in the game of life and enjoyment and growth as each goal is attained.
So as a conclusion I have one question for you;
What are you waiting for Cyber-ella go get yo’ self your “hard vibing, crackin’ “ money life. My son just let me know how embarrassing I am, so in plain “uncool” english, start playing your money game like a money boss and set yourself up for winning at life.