Wells Fargo expands interactive financial literacy game

Source: Wells Fargo & Company

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has added more challenging financial education content - and entertaining activities - to Stagecoach Island, its multi-player, online role-playing game for high school and college age students.

When Wells Fargo piloted the Stagecoach Island game more than a year ago it became the first financial institution to use an online role-playing game to make financial education fun.

Since its launch, tens of thousands of players have visited the Stagecoach Island Learning Lounge - an ATM where participants earn virtual money that can only be used in Stagecoach Island - by answering questions about banking and personal finance. As a result, the Island has more than 80 virtual millionaires, and users have collectively earned over $4.7 billion in interest on their virtual bank accounts.

"Whether young adults are paying for college, buying a first car, getting a first apartment, or learning how to use their first credit card responsibly, the Stagecoach Island game can help them do it better," said Pamela Erwin, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Foundation. "We're excited about the participation in the online game and want to keep our audience playing and learning. It's a great introduction to how to manage money and have fun."

Playing Stagecoach Island

The Stagecoach Island game can be downloaded free. The game invites players to adopt a unique virtual world character, called an avatar, who can explore the Island of computer-animated trees, buildings, dance clubs, hair salons, snowboarding parks, and more. Players also can virtually attend concerts, parties, play in bingo tournaments and chat with others in the community via online messages.

Players gain access to some activities, such as renting a motorcycle, playing paintball and buying clothes for their avatar, by earning, saving and spending virtual money. Players earn virtual money by answering questions about banking and personal finance, and they can earn virtual interest on their balances by saving their virtual dollars overnight. All of the financial education content comes from Wells Fargo's Hands on Banking/El futuro en tus manos program - a free, fun interactive online money management program for all ages.

The expanded game includes:
  • Motorbike racing track
  • Bingo tournaments three nights a week
  • Nightly fireworks display
  • Parachute competitions
  • New lessons on paying for a first apartment, ATMs and debit cards, credit cards, and smart shopping and budgeting

Wells Fargo also added the Stagecoach Island Community Site where players can give feedback on new features, chat with other players, share pictures of their avatar, and set up real-time events like birthday parties and ski races. The new website, built using Wells Fargo's blogging platform, features information about the latest features.

Wells Fargo developed the Stagecoach Island game with experiential marketing agency Swivel Media and uses a virtual gaming platform from Activeworlds.

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