Investment gamification

Gamifying financial literacy

Gamifying financial literacy
Norkon Team
August 19, 2022

Simulate portfolio building and stock market trading to activate youth engagement

One of the biggest challenges faced by both financial institutions and the media and news industries is attracting and retaining the attention of younger audiences. No matter how you slice it, youth – anyone aged 35 and under – relies on a different approach to consuming news and has its own ideas about investing. That is, young people don’t access news as much as older people, and they aren’t likely to pay for it. A perfect storm of avoiding and distrusting traditional news sources, bearing witness to previous financial market meltdowns, and the ubiquity of social platforms like Telegram, TikTok and Twitter, which are easy-access, free and decentralized (compared to traditional media) has led millennial and gen-Z audiences to be cautious. They tend to begin their news journey on social media – and keep it there. And investing in the stock market isn’t an area in which they feel a great deal of confidence.

How young people consume and want to engage with news has changed completely. Extending this to financial news as well as to curiosity about the stock market, we’re in uncharted territory. More than ever, young people are eschewing stock market participation. Many young people seem hesitant about investing, seeing it as too risky or simply as “not a good thing”. In part, this may be explained by a poor grasp of financial literacy among young people and uncertainty about how to get started and where to seek advice.

It doesn’t need to be this way. With education – and easier, no-to-low-risk ways of learning how to take part – financial literacy and stock market participation is just a few clicks away.

Activate youth engagement with gamification

Given what we know about young media users, it’s rather unlikely that someone in their early 20s is going to pay for a standard newspaper subscription, particularly with financial news being the conversion point. The last possible means by which we imagine a young person engaging with financial news is by grabbing the market pages from the newspaper and diving in. Digital engagement, instant access and games are likelier associations and pathways to reaching this challenging audience. It’s not that youth will not pay for financial news, or news more broadly, but that they need to be reached their way.

Trade on: Putting the fun in Fantasy Funds

The next generation, it turns out, is not all as risk averse as it might initially seem, and not all are ready to give up on the idea of investing. In fact, for many young investors, non-traditional investment vehicles are the kinds of risks they are looking for, for example, cryptocurrencies and NFTs. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s think about how financial entities and news outlets might persuade a young person to get their trade on.

Just as the human brain is wired for stories, we’re also strongly inclined to engage with games.

And with young people, who have spent their entire lives online, consuming information and playing games, this is the sweet spot for organizations that want to offer hands-on financial experience, incentives to start trading in the real world, and encourage a new generation of investors to become customers or subscribers to their services.

That’s where Fantasy Funds, an award-winning stock market game, comes into play. Across age ranges and genders, news platforms who have implemented Fantasy Funds have found readers to be extremely interested in playing this game, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

“Since young readers were the main target audience, the goal was to have 45 percent of the users under 35 years old. (…) However, after the 10 week period, a whopping 55 percent of the players were from that demographic. More than 20 percent of the players were 25 or younger, and “the youngest playing group was the most active.” – Petter Winther, Dagens Næringsliv

Shaping next gen-investors

This success is replicable across industry sectors, whether it’s the media or financial services industry. Survey results on the back of the Fantasy Funds game indicate that the game has increased players’ financial literacy and resulted in them following financial and stock market news while increasing their confidence to invest. In fact, 70% of participants stated that they would be more willing to invest after having played the game (Source:

According to Forbes, young people are ideal investors

To empower them to get there, confidence building through a combination of financial news and media and hands-on education is essential. Fantasy Funds is one avenue to help get more young people engaged and excited about investing.

The Telegraph witnessed similar success in winning over new subscribers and tapping into their extended audience, reaching people who engage with the Telegraph on social channels but who don’t necessarily subscribe to their digital news paper. Fantasy Funds has played a strategic role in generating interest in the Telegraph’s Market Hub.

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