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Computer Games Make Finance Fun for Brooklyn Tech Students

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TWC News: Computer Games Make Finance Fun for Brooklyn Tech Students
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A computer game is teaching high school students about the stock market at Brooklyn Tech. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Lihi Yusufov, a junior at Brooklyn Tech, recently started a Virtual Investment Club at her high school.

However, she says it was hard for other students to gain interest in the club at first.

"It was hard for the students to really understand and get into it," says Yusufov. "They didn't think it was that fun because, you know, teenagers, they don't really like finance as much as I do."
 
She started using computer games as a way of reaching out to more students. Now club members spend most of their meetings playing Gen i Revolution, a free online game developed by the Council for Economic Education. In it, students navigate a series of missions that deal with topics like investing and 401Ks.
 
Douglas Young, the director at the National Center for the Council for Economic Education, explains the premise of the game.

"It’s based upon the premise that people are losing confidence in the financial institutions and the markets around the country, that the murk tide is over taking us and financial disaster lurks," says Young.
 
Although this sounds like it might go over the heads of its target audience of high school and even middle school students, experts say it hits an important mark.
 
"Everybody has to have this financial education, plus the sooner that they start saving for their future then the better off they are," says Jack Couch, the club's advisor.
 
Young continues to say how important it is to teach students these financial skills at a young age so as to better prepare them for the future.

"Statistics have shown the earlier you get students involved, particularly in middle school, the better they are at asset building, understanding budgeting, understanding finance, understanding planning and investing, so they're capable of doing this," says Young.
 
Now that these burgeoning buffets have completed most of the missions, Yusufov plans to return to her original mission: have students pretend to buy virtual stocks and track how they do in the real market.
 
"When they play the Gen i Revolution they understood stocks more. I think it was a better way of learning about them, so it helped," says Yusufov.
 
There are three different Gen i games that are available for free to teachers and students across the country. They can be played online, on tablets or via Facebook. 

For more information, go to genirevolution.org.

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