NatWest Bank has released its first ever educational video game, Island Saver, developed in partnership with Stormcloud Games in Dundee.
Deigned for 7-12 year olds, the game aims to teach children about money management in a fun and engaging way.
Island Saver is a non-violent first-person sandbox game. The game takes place on the Savvy islands which include a range of different eco systems, including a jungle, beach, and desert. Players are armed with an ‘trash blaster’ vacuum cleaner, to clean up the litter which has polluted the paradise.
Learn Financial Basics
Players must learn and master new skills, tame and unlock animal companions, and find collectibles spread across the world. Woven into the gameplay are a series of financial learning point. These range from a simple ‘work for pay’ as characters earn coins by cleaning up litter, to saving money in bank accounts. As players progress through the game they’ll also be introduced to the more advanced elements of good money management including paying tax to maintain the Islands, borrowing money, and even elements of foreign exchange.
Island Saver is free to download and play, and there are no in-game purchases. Two expansion packs for the game will be available for a ‘pocket money’ cost of £4 per game.
All proceeds from the expansion packs will be donated to the UK –Young Money and SpecialEffect charities.
NatWest will not receive any profit from the sale of the expansion packs.
Thom Kenrick, Head of Social Strategy and Programmes at NatWest, said:
“Helping young people better understand money began with the launch of our MoneySense Programme in schools more than 25 years ago. Island Saver is a natural progression of this –especially at a time when parents are looking for free, at-home educational resources,and kids are looking for entertainment.
“Our own research found that the majority (53%) of parents said that lack of interest was a challenge when it comes to teaching children about money. Island Saver is the perfect solution –an open world, production quality game that is as fun and entertaining, as it is educational.”
Educate the Whole Family
In order to ensure the whole family can learn about finance, NatWest has developed a series of Island Saver activity sheets, which explore the money matters covered in the game. These give families the opportunity to pause the game and discuss the missions they encounter –explaining in real time how these subjects might affect them in the real world.
A glossary can be also found online, that assists parents in explaining the real world examples that are presented in the game.
Frank Arnot from Stormcloud told Scottish Games Network:
“Our design vision for Island Saver was to create a fun, family-friendly, full scale game. We knew it had to be a game that was educational, and we also wanted to weave in a positive environmental message. It’s not always easy to make finance fun – but we’re really proud of what we have created.”
Island Saver is OUT NOW for free on PlayStation 4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch and Steam.
Is there any more games,
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