Robert and Kim Kiyosaki holding the

Harness The Power of Play

It’s all fun and games until someone increases their financial IQ

Take a moment and think about how you learned about the concept of money. Perhaps it was from emulating your parents, receiving an allowance, earning your first paycheck, playing Monopoly or by racking up a ton of debt on your credit cards. Regardless of which scenario rings true, I bet none of you will say you learned about money in school. Isn’t that scary?

Schools teach science, math, grammar and history—but according to the biennial Survey of the States by the Council for Economic Education, they aren’t doing enough to provide a financial education that will help prepare students for adulthood.

And even if they did teach it, I’d venture to guess it would be taught with a boring book and corresponding lectures—which isn’t the most effective way to learn.

Gamification: A Better Approach to Learning

In 1996, Robert and I sent our educational board game, CASHFLOW® the Boardgame, to a group of instructors at a prominent university for their feedback. Their response? “We do not play games in school and we are not interested in teaching young people about money. They have more important subjects to learn.”

Frankly, we were surprised by their mindset. First, how is learning about money not important? Second, despite the rising pile of evidence that proves humans learn best by doing—such as playing games—they still want students to learn by listening and reading.

In 2012, “Gamification by Design” co-author Gabe Zichermann gave a TED Talk called Changing the Game in Education. In it, he said: “Humans are doing machines. We do. That’s our nature…and it turns out there’s a core biological reason why we do, and it’s an amazing little neurotransmitter called dopamine.”

Zichermann goes on to explain how the modern education system is fundamentally opposed to our nature as humans. He purports that asking us to sit down and pay attention does very little for our education because we learn more by trying, making mistakes, and achieving success. In fact, the pleasure that we feel when we achieve something is actually the release of dopamine, and it helps us remember and learn far more effectively.

That’s why he makes the case for gamification—the process of integrating the mechanics of a game into a learning activity to increase motivation and engagement—being the future of education. Savvy schools are hopping on this bandwagon, as are corporations, who are also finding it to be an effective tool for employee training.

Zichermann says gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology, and that a gamification tool taps into the psychological behaviors that govern the day-to-day decisions we make—providing a platform for competition, sharing your achievements and managing the progress of your work.

It’s Time to Start Playing Around

Of course, we didn’t take no for an answer just because one university rejected our board game. We kept circulating it and are proud to say that many schools have seen for themselves how effective CASHFLOW the Boardgame is in their classrooms.

We knew we had finally come full circle when Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management utilized Rich Dad Poor Dad, CASHFLOW Quadrant, and the CASHFLOW games in its curriculum. This prestigious university is internationally recognized for its programs, so it’s an important validation of our work!

We also know that there’s a larger market for our products. CASHFLOW has become a popular household tool for parents to help educate their children since schools are obviously failing. Even community organizations, such as churches and youth programs, are using it to teach financial education to their members.

Because we are committed to harnessing the power of games to change people’s financial lives, we spent a lot of time and resources to create a digital version (CASHFLOW Classic) that anyone can play for free. And we’ve created a host of educational apps and games that help you and your loved ones understand how money works and how it can work for you.

So, if you’re ready to grow you and your family’s financial IQ, the answer is clear: Harness the power of play.

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