Inside the World of Finance-Forward Games

Fri May 24 2024
Inside the World of Finance-Forward Games

When it comes to learning the ins and outs of finance, most professionals rely on a balance of formal education and experience. Held alone, neither is enough to navigate a highly complex and ever-changing world of trading and finance. Over time, most professionals start to zero in on their interests, from investment to consultancy.

If there’s one thing that isn’t associated with success in this world, it’s gaming. While plenty of people game casually to pass the time, there aren’t usually any skill sets that intersect the worlds of gaming and finance. In fact, gaming is likely placed into the category of recreation by the average professional.

But in reality, there are certain types of games that can help impart and develop the skills, tactics, and approaches necessary to succeed in finance. Keep in mind that these aren’t the standard finance-centric games like Zogo or Cashflow, which zero in heavily on concepts like budgeting, investing, and managing funds. Instead, we’re focusing on games that more peripherally touch on these concepts, helping you build your skills without you even knowing.

Games that Involve Unknowns

One of the toughest charges for finance whizzes is handling unknowns. These unknowns matter when there’s a lot of line on the table—and when trust with a client is also on the line. It’s easily one of the most stressful parts of the job. But it can be a thrilling experience in gaming realms.

For example, poker is one of the best examples of a popular game that deals with unknowns. Players are dealt a limited number of cards and must make a winning hand with what they have—all while trying to assess whether other players might have a stronger hand. Every move in the game is structured around this type of “spidey sense”—especially when it comes to how players raise or call their bets.

MMOs with In-World Economies

Some games actually deal with fully-fledged in-game economies. Most are MMOs, which stands for massively multiplayer online. The idea is that there are enough remote players around the world who do things like buy, trade, and sell virtual goods that an economy is born. The vastest in-game economies have been going for years in games like World of Warcraft and EVE Online.

While these aren’t nearly as robust as real-world economies and stock markets, they’re a prime example of how finance sometimes bleeds into gaming. But beware—these markets don’t entirely mirror the real world, especially when it comes to price competition, security, and labor mobility (but that might be part of the fun.) 

Sports Management Simulators

Management simulators are hugely popular among sports fans. These types of games allow players to step into the shoes of franchise leaders and general managers—not the athletes themselves. For finance buffs with a special love of sports, these games can be hugely satisfying to play. That’s because these types of players usually have a leg up.

Management simulations touch on some of the most universal challenges to business leaders, including financial demands like budgeting, building out revenue streams, handling expenses, and viewing finance through the lens of player contracts and facility upgrades. Clearly, there are a lot of moving parts—and succeeding in these games can help professionals polish their critical thinking skills.

Civilization-builders (and City-builders)

Sports management simulators allow financial professionals to get into the nitty-gritty with their favorite sports leagues. There are plenty of moving pieces involved in creating a successful sports franchise—but these are paltry compared to civilization builders like the Civilization series. After all, there’s a lot more that goes into creating an empire than a championship-winning team.

Even to build a thriving city, players will need to flex their skills related to resource management, long-term planning, risk management, and—of course—budgeting. There must be both a high-level view and a hands-on approach present. While the demands of building a city or civilization are quite distinct from succeeding in the open market, the two go hand-in-hand.



Nick Jason is our Europe based Correspondent. He covers news related to Stock Market Commodities & Currencies. He currently lives in London.