Business games for finance training allow financial professionals to practice using the financial terminology and concepts necessary to manage costs, create budgets and track income. Games provide a fun and welcome break from traditional lectures, which can get boring. These games allow students to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge by applying them to a competitive challenge. Finance training that includes a game helps students grasp key financial concepts and make effective business decisions by using a combination of a visual, auditory and hands-on approaches. Games help students remember the information presented and pay continued attention to lectures.
Business games for finance training typically feature simulated environments designed to familiarize participants with financial concepts and terms. Simulation games usually place students in a scenario involving a company. Students typically begin by reviewing the previous year's financial data, including sales figures, profit-and-loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow. The challenge then becomes to achieve performance targets by making good financial decisions.
Games capture people’s attention and promote group interaction. Students who compete with other students in business games for finance training study the dependencies associated with financial transactions under conditions similar to the real world but without the risks. Participants gain knowledge of financial terms, indicators and measurements in a realistic working environment. They develop skills that transfer to making effective transactions once they return to their jobs. Online business games offer a chance for business students all around the world to participate, allowing for networking opportunities, as well.
Business games for finance typically provide role-playing opportunities for participants. Workshops and lectures usually offer games and exercises as break from traditional lectures, which can become tedious. In these role-playing exercises, teams build a business plan to present to other students. The goal might be to increase revenue or decrease costs. Their strategy must include an implementation plan and financial forecast of how the project will proceed. This type of games can be used as an ice-breaker activity at the beginning of a financial training course or during the session. Online games offer simulated businesses that participants run as if they were planning a computer game. Internet games, such as Income Outcome and other online business simulation games with many players, allow participants to learn about business and finance while meeting new people. Some online games, such as the Virtonomics economics game, have been translated to other languages and integrate with social networking technology.
A financial business game allows students to practice key skills taught in finance training. Upon completion, students should be able to ascertain the components of basic financial statements, such as an income statement and a balance sheet. Students develop the ability to explain the difference between key concepts, such as cash and profit. Participants find out how to analyze financial data that determines the overall health of their simulated company and apply this knowledge to their real company once they go back on the job. This type of activity also permits students to review the information they have learned before taking a final exam.
- Thiagi: $6MM Game; Feb. 12, 2009
- “Thiagi's 100 Favorite Games"; Sivasailam Thiagarajan; 2006
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.