Most parents wish their children spent less time playing video games, but some of them might be great tools to teach kids about money. It turns out that some of the most popular video games also happen to promote financial literacy for kids.
Give a listen the next time they're playing. You might be surprised to hear them discuss saving up for an item that will give them an edge, or figuring out how to succeed with few resources. Some games even have them launching simulated businesses, paying employees and mortgages, even trading, and investing.
We asked our teen community on Instagram to share how their favorite games have imparted money lessons, and these four stood out as the most educational. (Who knew?!)
Fortnite: Lessons in Frugality
You've long wanted your child to learn how to manage wants vs. needs and not waste their money on frivolous things. Fortnite is teaching just that, as players try to survive on an island by building up an arsenal.
As @macy.x.ann shared, “Fortnite teaches me how to save money ... until you see something worth it, don't spend anything. It will be pointless to get something that isn't worth it."
Another user, @goncaloo_pinto, says, “Fortnite helps me learn how to manage money and how to not waste it all."
Minecraft: Business Building Blocks
You might think Minecraft is just moving blocks around, but there's more to it than that. Kids learn how to save to achieve a long-term goal, as well as how to budget and grow their resources.
“It boosted my financial intelligence because me and my friends made a massive Minecraft server where we would buy and sell goods such as diamonds, weapons, farms, and even ownership of an entire industry, with netherite," says @samy.lime. “We each had to negotiate prices and find great deals. And I hoarded my currency so I could buy out our entire sugar cane farm industry."
Or put simply by @butterfli3s.s: “It taught me not to waste resources because you may need them some time to defend yourself from creepers."
Roblox: Navigating a Virtual Marketplace
The whole concept of Roblox is actually entrepreneurial, as it isn't really a game – rather, it's a platform that lets users create and share their own games. That said, it can be useful to teach kids about money since it uses the virtual currency Robux.
In some games, kids must manage expenses like rent or paying for workers, while others encourage players to earn and save.
“Some of the simulator games on Roblox have taught me how to save up cash to afford employees and to strengthen the business more," says @duncneyscharm.
It also helps teens develop negotiation tactics, according to @kenzwulff. “Roblox taught me never to settle on your first offer when trading items on games and making good money from good trades."
Animal Crossing: Tackling Transactions
From paying off debt to learning about investing in the game's “stalk market," Animal Crossing players learn how to navigate many personal finance aspects.
“Animal Crossing has a deposit/withdrawal system and an option to pay off loans, along with other currency-based gameplay interactions," says @ivvimayflower.
And, @splash_.daddy says that “Animal Crossing taught me how a mortgage works and more or less taught me about stocks."
The next time your kids ask for a few more minutes of video game time, if you think of them as a tool to teach kids about money, you might be more apt to say yes. You can always encourage them to check out GoHenry’s in-app money missions where they can watch videos, take quizzes, earn points & badges while gaining money skills.