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Right Track - Financial Strategy Game

 

 

PROJECT DETAILS

Project Experience: Aug. 2012 - Dec. 2012, New York City

My Role: Design Strategist, Game Designer

Contribution: Youth Education, Gamification, Financial Planning, Disaster Preparedness, Design Strategy

Collaboration: Occupy Student Debt Campaign, American Red Cross Youth

Team: Elizabeth Blasi ( Co-designer – MFA Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons The New School for Design)

Developing a roadmap towards ones dreams and aspirations

RIGHT TRACK - FINANCIAL STRATEGY GAME

I co-designed Right Track, a board game that helps youth develop playful ‘future thinking’ strategies, building a roadmap towards their dreams and aspirations. 

CHALLENGE

Two-thirds of college graduates in 2011 had student debt, an average of $26,000 per borrower. In 2014 the average student debt rose to $33,000. This amount is nearly double what borrowers had to repay 20 years ago, even after adjusting for inflation. National student debt in the United States has surpassed credit card and auto loan debt at $1,000,000,000- http://projectonstudentdebt.org

When you were fourteen years old, what financial strategies did you consider to support your goals?

OPPORTUNITY

We explored the issue of human-centered approach to financial disaster preparedness and resilience by focussing on youth aged 14 -18, who are taking on greater financial responsibility without proper knowledge or preparedness. Financial strategies aren’t just about money. They are often tied to perceived needs, obligations, desires, goals etc. 

Our framing question therefore - How might we empower the youth to use shared knowledge and experiences to help build a resilient financial strategy?

Existing financial planning games for the youth proved ineffective as the participants lacked a sense of agency in the game, because their roles and situations were ascribed to them. This condition not only affected their level of engagement, but also the level of strategy that was being employed. The challenge therefore lay in designing an activity that allowed the participant to play with self-ascribed values within real life scenarios, allowing them to be fully invested in their future.

ACTION

I co-designed Right Track, a board game that helps youth develop playful ‘future thinking’ strategies. It utilizes their personal portfolio of skills and capacities; namely time, money and effort as ‘currency’ to develop roadmaps towards a preferable future. This makes the consequences of the participants actions evidential, observable, and obtainable.

We developed, tested, iterated, and refined the aspirational-strategy game based on feedback from organizations such as Occupy Student Debt Campaign, American Red Cross Youth and other experts.

OUTCOME

Right Track was showcased at the ‘communities of _____’ exhibition at The New School, New York (2012)