BY CHRISTOPHER PANNA

Everyone would agree that it’s important to learn about personal finance, yet many kids grow up without the skills to manage their money. This is probably because the topic was never put in the context of a pig riding a jet ski. Play Debt Ski with your students and they should see things more clearly.

The game dresses basic economic concepts in a cartoonish summer look. You have to steer the pig through an obstacle course, helping him grab as many coins (income) as possible. Along the way you also need to pick up necessities while avoiding too many luxuries (though they make your pig happy). At the end of the course your income and expenses are tallied, leaving you with savings or debt. You can then buy upgrades to your ski, but beware the pitfalls of credit cards! This is one of the most teachable aspects of the game, as there are credit limits, minimum payments, and interest on unpaid debt.

Pass all eight levels and you’ll get a final score based on the savings, debt, and happiness points you’ve accumulated. There’s no end to the score you can earn, which will encourage healthy competition among students. After playing Debt Ski, they can check out the game’s parent site, InDebtEd, which is designed to help college students navigate the jungle of student expenses. High school students will be there soon, so they might as well start learning personal finance now.

Debt Ski

Related stuff

Karma Tycoon turns philanthropy into a game

Students can manage their money at Mint.com

The Centsables fight against financial irresponsibility

YouAreHere teaches kids to be smart consumers

Comments are closed.