Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Debit Card Monopoly

In Europe, Monopoly's colorful way of introducing kids to money management, worth, and simple math is being lost to the electronic age. I heard this on the radio this morning, it is quickly running around the net (as witnessed here, and here, and over here), and it is currently the talk of the office. Yes, the games will still be sold with the traditional paper money, but how many kids would willingly take to calculating the money in their head when they can just swip their little card through the VISA scanner and let the machine do it for them (yes it actually says VISA on the scanner).

As one co-worker said "It'll make kids dumb, or at least won't give them the opportunity to learn more important skills".

And another said, "We wouldn't want them to think for themselves, or learn how to ask inquisitive questions."

I find this incredibly sad. True, we have been moving to a no paper sort of world, but kids need that tactile stimulus, the visual experience of seeing all that money (or lack there of) to really grasp the concept. How many of you have had your kids say, 'Mama just go to the ATM and get some money so we can buy ____', or 'Daddy, just use your credit card'. They see us acquiring "stuff" by simply swiping a plastic card in a machine and pushing some buttons or signing a piece of paper.

Yes, kids can learn about money and economics, and get to practice math by means of other activities, but that is what these games are about.... yea yea yea, spending quality time together, but they are also about making learning fun.


J said...

One of the benefits of games with money is to learn math...addition, subtraction, etc. If they don't play with the money, will they reinforce their math skills? Maybe they'll be better at balancing their checkbook than kids who were raised with cash only. Because they'll be more used to the idea of virtual cash.

I think it's a bad idea...I think people need to understand the concrete concepts before they move to the abstract.

Have you played Life lately? Sucks. It's all random chance...seems to me you used to get to make SOME decisions. Now the only one is whether to go to college or not.

Ted said...

Now I've found the root of my math problem: I didn't play board games. :-)

laluna said...

I wonder when you swipe the card if it makes the cool loolope sound. I love being the banker. If you take away the money and replace it with a loolope scanner, you can't throw the money in the air and roll around in it if you win. They always take all the fun out of things.

Gina said...

Man, I feel like an old fogey from the Stone Ages!

Cherry, I have subscribed to your blog's feed, but for some reason it wasn't showing up! I'll be sure to check more regularly instead of relying on some obviously faulty technology.