While checking out my 401(k) at Wells Fargo, I noticed a little banner ad for Retirement City that intrigued me. Being a student of marketing and also a gamer I thought I should check it out.
Retirement City is a browser-based game, brought to you by Wells Fargo, that is designed to teach you about saving for retirement. The virtual world is not POV, it's map-down but that works for the medium and what they are doing. You have to sign up for the game before you get access and then you are off. They have a nice quick tutorial about the game and controls (that I skipped because I'm a man and I don't need no stinking instructions...) and some brief info into the missions.
I hesitate to say "missions" because the tasks are not that complicated and are designed to test your knowledge and teach you things about retirement you might not know. You collect badges for each completed mini-quest that go toward completing the game. In order to complete it, you need to collect all 10 badges and you will be a certified retirement pro! No, that's not true but I bet you will know a little bit more about retirement than when you started.
The gamifying of retirement content isn't a new concept but it is not done often and with such breadth. Wells Fargo did a good job here providing game-like items such as avatars, missions, badges and a colorful world to roam around in. Navigation is simple, you just drag the map and look for icons that signify learning events or badge quests. Easy-peasy. The game will also work with mobile devices which is a smart move on their part.
Most of you won't remember this but Wells Fargo is no stranger to gamifying their offerings. Way back in 2005 they had their own island in the virtual world of Second Life. Stagecoach Island was designed to help young adults learn about handling their own finances. The company also bought the rights to all of the virtual ATMs in Second Life.