The Liquid team prides itself on making a difference to people’s lives. We often look for projects where we are able to make a positive contribution. So, when the opportunity arose to re-build Australia’s most successful financial literacy game that Liquid built 10-years ago – we jumped at the chance.Liquid Interactive has enjoyed a long-term partnership with Financial Basics Foundation (FBF), a wonderful organisation that provides free financial literacy resources to educators around Australia.
In 2007, FBF saw the opportunity to use technology and game design to create a highly engaging resource to help teens understand the fundamentals of earning, spending, saving and investing (ESSI). And so together with Liquid, FBF launched ESSI Money, an online and CD-Rom educational simulation game that is now played in over half of all Australian secondary schools.
Free for all schools to access, ESSI Money aligns with the Australian National Curriculum. It’s also free from brand messages and overly conservative government design guidelines.
However, being 10-years old (prehistoric in digital terms), ESSI Money was nearing the end of its shelf life: the technology was becoming unsustainable and the interface design was outdated. So, once again FBF partnered with Liquid to redevelop the game.
We created ESSI Money 2.0: a new, complex digital simulation that incorporates sophisticated interaction design, learning design, social elements, advanced technology, and teacher facilitation tools to build the financial knowledge and skills of young Australians.
Term 2, 2017 saw the launch of the long-awaited ESSI Money 2.0; and so far we’ve had some glowing reports from teachers. Initial feedback suggests the game continues to have a big impact on Aussie students whilst remaining highly regarded as an effective educational experience.
“I can't get my students out of the classroom. I'm waiting for the novelty to wear off!”
“The students say they love this game and are really engaged in it, which is great on many levels; they enjoy coming to class and they’re fully focused. It’s good to see them helping and encouraging others, learning valuable life and financial lessons without realising it!”
In time we will have more quantitative data to analyse, but for now, it’s fantastic to have made such a substantial update to the product and continue to make a big difference to our next generation of homebuyers, consumers and business leaders.
So, whilst the 2007 game in its essence is still alive, this next generation game is already proving to be a genuine upgrade, and sound educational investment in the next generation of Australians.