The Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab (GEL Lab) at the College of Communication Arts & Sciences partnered with the MSU Federal Credit Union to design Spartan Villa, a fun game targeted towards MSU students. Available on the iOS platform (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), the game is designed to assist young adults by increasing their financial literacy through engaging gameplay.
Spartan Villa introduces the player to critical financial concepts through the virtual management of a college house, making the player responsible for expanding and maintaining their house by utilizing their finances effectively. Paying bills on time, allocating funds to the proper accounts, and monitoring their monthly spending are important aspects of the gameplay; ultimately allowing the player to purchase rooms to expand their house, host social events to attract future tenants, and increase their overall credit score. By successfully completing these tasks in the game, the player is able to learn effective money management skills and increase their financial literacy in a way that is engaging as well as accessible.
Beginning in the fall of 2011, six students worked with faculty member Brian Winn, along with April Clobes, MSU FCU Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Samantha Amburgey, MSU FCU Vice President of eCommerce and eServices to create the game. According to Winn, “One of the challenges of many incoming MSU students is that, for the first time in their lives, they have to manage their own finances. Spartan Villa was created to help players learn more about financial issues, such as understanding the difference between credit, debit, and savings accounts, the importance of budgeting your expenses, and understanding credit scores."
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