4 Things Gaming Taught Me About Money

gaming taught me

One way I learned about personal finance and business is online gaming. I know it seems farfetched, but it’s been eye opening. Here are four things gaming taught me about money.

Work For It

The first lesson I learned about money is that you have to work for it. You may start with nothing, but if you work hard and seek it diligently, you can find more. I refuse to spend real money on games unless I have a gift card. Many games, especially free mobile games, are created to entice you to spend money on coins, gems, or extra lives. However, one alternative is to complete quests or perform tasks to earn valuable items. These tasks are usually in addition to whatever your main objective is, so you play the game more often to try to accomplish everything. You have to work for everything, and the game gives you ample opportunity to gain little bits of what you need to be successful.


Another alternative to gain more lives or coins is patience. Most games give you some things for free, but they take a very long time. The developers know we live in a society of now, and they use that to their advantage. They know they can test your patience. Either you’ll continue coming back to the game, or you will pay money to avoid waiting. I’ve learned to wait patiently for my lives to refill or for my dragon-crafted bank to provide coins at regular intervals. The Harry Potter game can take several hours to refill your energy. Therefore, you have to be strategic about starting classes or events. This game taught me to remember the long game. It’s the same for saving and investing. You have to be patient to see the fruits of your labor, or you might make a rash decision.

Opportunity Cost

Those rash decisions lead me to opportunity costs. Money can’t be in two places at once. You can’t save money and spend it, and it’s the same with the items in these games. I could use coins to purchase more lives, but then I won’t have them to buy supplies, buildings, etc. in that particular game. Gaming has taught me to assess what’s essential and will help me reach my goals.

Profitable Business Model

Perhaps the most apparent money-maker in gaming is the myriad of advertisements that come with free applications. I’ve read reviews of people complaining about the number of ads in free games, or their frequency while admitting they refuse to purchase the game to eliminate the problem. I’m not one of those people, but I also understand the business model. The company has to continue running, and giving away games in itself is not profitable. However, selling ad space in an app used by millions of people to other companies can be very lucrative.

For example, do you remember when Candy Crush came out? It seemed like the entire world stopped and took notice. The game has been since 2012, yet it’s still making money. In 2018, players spent over $4 million on average per day, which was an increase of 10% from 2017. The addictive nature of the game, the slowly increasing difficulty, and the ever-growing number of levels keep users coming back. The spinoffs are also raking in millions of dollars. Its latest iteration made $3 million between October 2018 and January 2019 and had over 30 million downloads. It appears King, the developer, has a recipe for success.

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