Hero on a Budget: Learn Money Management from the World of Warcraft

Even in the fantasy world, there are no shortcuts to success, everyone in the WoW starts off at the bottom and works their way up.
What better way to practice going broke, or testing out financial decisions than through the virtual world of Draenor?  World of Warcraft is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Blizzard Entertainment.  It is an online game where millions of players from around the world assume the roles of heroic fantasy characters and explore a world full of magic and mystery. You start out as a newcomer, and must learn and practice your skills to survive.  Earning and spending money is a key aspect of the success of your character. At the beginning, you are given a small satchel to carry your belongings as well as some basic gear.  You earn everything you need from this point onward.  You explore and collect items, earning money and objects through quests.  You first earn copper pieces, then silver, then gold.  Much like the real world, you have to prove your abilities with less lucrative jobs, before you can advance to better ones. Even in the fantasy world, there are no shortcuts to success, everyone in the WoW starts off at the bottom and works their way up.  There’s no silver spoon handed to you from the start.

WoW can actually be a pretty useful tool in learning personal financial literacy or the ability to manage and understand your financial conditions.  This includes the ability to make financial choices, talk about money and financial issues with others, plan for the future, and respond competently to life events that affect everyday financial decisions, including events in the general economy.  Luckily in the WoW there are no economic reasons to ever worry about anything but yourself.  So it puts your financial planning in a bit of a bubble, but thats ok for practice purposes. Here are some tips on how to manage your wealth as an Elf…

1. Pawning for Power: In the game you must manage your budget.  The games’ creators have carefully balanced objects’ values based on your location and your likelihood of affording certain items you might need – like a better set of armor or better weapons.  Through quests, and selling back items you find (like pawning in the real world) you can build up a small amount to be able to buy things for yourself.

2. Auction House Hustle: When you have amassed a large quantity of items, either through farming, looting, or crafting, you can sell these items in bulk, directly to other players through the auction house. Real players may need something very specific that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.  Much like the real world, supply and demand dictate the prices in the auction house.  You can compare the current going rate for certain items, and then undercut your selling price to try and win some sales first.  This is the best way to earn a LOT of money all at once.

3. Stash your Cash: Your coin purse is similar to a basic checking account.  You see your balance after making a purchase.  There are bank vaults where you can store more items or money that you won’t be able to spend immediately without retrieving – like a savings account.  This is a smart solution to curb the desire to spend all of your money in one place or to squander your money without planning for the future – like buying that super expensive flying mount.

Luckily, WoW is still a fantasy realm and you don’t have to face the greatest monster of them all, DEBT. But there are still valuable money management lessons you can learn along your quest to rule the kingdom.

Media

Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Learning Objective: In this lesson you will learn about how financial decisions and the economy are handled in the World of Warcraft.  You will have the opportunity to budget your money to purchase basic necessities and other specialty items. This online game provides the opportunity for practicing financial planning in a safe, risk free environment.

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Lesson tags: Budget, Economics, Eighth, Eleventh, Featured, Finances, Financial Literacy, Math, Ninth, Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, Video Games, World of Warcraft

Melissa Pelletier

Melissa has a Masters in Educational Communication and Technology from NYU. She has worked in academic publishing, games, and the educational toys industries.