Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games

David - About Money - March 28, 2019

This article presents fundamental economic principles you can learn and experience through video games. Most people think of playing as entertaining. Yet, playing is the best way to learn something new.

This time, we focus on MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) as they often reproduce real-life circumstances. Indeed, they gather millions of players and have a robust economy with suppliers, buyers, sellers, and so on. Furthermore, these video games are accessible at a young age. Hence, they can teach complex concepts to children and teenagers in the glance of an eye.

In this article, I go about economic principles you can practice while playing video games. And I provide you with an infographic and a list of actions to take right after reading.

If you own a business or want to start one (as an entrepreneur, director, or anything else), this article is for you.

Table of Contents
Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games - Illustration - Picture

1. Save Money, Set Goals, and Track Your Progress

Most players know it. Starting from scratch is hard and it takes time to make money and level up your character. For this reason, when you start you must save your money until you can invest it. Once you reach a higher level and you make more money, everything becomes easier. However, the most important is: You have to get over the first tough part and refrain from giving up even if you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For this reason, video games provide an inventory and quests. These two crucial functionalities let you track your progress and your future tasks. They guide you and they set goals to reach. They're so important that they are now considered mandatory in every kind of game. Not only do they guide the player, but they also let him discover the game and its richness.

It is identical in real life. You will encounter hardships and if you give up on the first obstacle, you're dead. Prepare yourself, creating and growing a business were never meant to be easy.

Besides, you can't tell how far you are from your goals if you don't track your evolution. You need to provide yourself with the ability to assess every stage of your development.

Furthermore, you should set precise goals (with deadlines and expected figures) to know what needs to be done without getting lost and without losing time.

Ideally, set many small goals so you don't lose motivation but rather get satisfied as you reach every milestone of your adventure.

Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games - Illustration - Picture

2. Automate and Delegate

Playing is a time-consuming activity.

If you spend an hour fighting monsters, you can't spend one more hour selling what you looted to earn money. Because of that, developers came up with smart ideas to let one make money while being asleep or while fighting other monsters.

Public and private markets, for instance, let one sell equipment and resources while being disconnected. These functionalities take advantage of the player's free time to make money.

What it teaches is, to make more money you have to invest in automating and delegating your work. It doesn't matter if you increase your expenses as long as they generate income while you're asleep.

If you can successfully make money while taking yourself out of the equation, you can put efforts into creating other sources of income or growing the existing ones. The more you automate and delegate, the more you have time to grow and diversify your investing strategy to earn more.

Think of Amazon, eBay, and other online marketplaces. The same goes for e-commerce websites. You can set up an online shop and sell products while being asleep, either by developing your own website or by taking advantage of well-established companies.

Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games - Illustration - Picture

3. Invest

Video games are often designed to motivate and please players so they play more and more.

A consequence of that design is, players often have too much useless money at the beginning. It means they already have everything they need at their level so they don't have to spend any more until they reach a higher level. That's why experienced players never carry money in their inventory.

They know they'd better make use of everything they have to generate substantial returns on investment without waiting for the next step. It ensures they always have a comfortable amount of money to afford their future expenses and equipment.

Hence, their strategy relies on investing as much money as they can while keeping an emergency fund in case their investments turn bad.

The lesson drawn is, always use your extra money. Invest in research and development to increase your chances to make more money in the future. If you can figure out a way to enhance your services or products by spending your extra money, you're doing good. If you keep your money sleeping in a bank account without doing nothing, you're not taking advantage of it. You have many opportunities to make your money work for you.

For instance, you could:

  • Invest in real estate (garages, apartments, flatshares).

  • Digitalize your products (turn a physical class into a video or a book for instance).

  • Enroll in courses to grow your skills or improve your expertise in a given field.

  • Pay more ads to sell larger quantities of your products.

  • Hire more salespeople to sell larger quantities of your products.

The main idea is to invest in yourself so you prepare for a wealthier future.

Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games - Illustration - Picture


The best way to put these concepts into practice is to actually play a free game before spending your savings.

To do so, I recommend downloading and installing either Dofus or Nostale. They are free online video games you can play in your spare time and the procedure is straightforward.

  1. Create an account.

  2. Download and install the game.

  3. Create a character.

  4. Follow the quests and level up until you're level 20.

  5. Earn as much as you can. Sell items, craft equipment, set up your merchant shop, etc.

Spend 30 minutes or 1 hour a day and you will experience every single concept in a matter of days.

Side note: Children and teenagers will be more receptive to this learning approach as they (usually) are used to playing games.

Thereafter, establish a list of actions to apply these principles to your business.

For instance, you could:

  • Take back a project you had left, and work harder on it.

  • Hire professionals to replace you so you can focus on other tasks. (Virtual assistants for instance)

  • Use tools like Trello to track your progress and define goals.

You're spoiled for choice and you can apply these principles in both virtual and real worlds.

Side note: Don't feel guilty about playing video games. They teach a lot and cure depression, among many other positive effects.

Don't Forget These Principles

Take them with you thanks to this infographic, and share them with whom you think would be interested in applying them.

Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games - Illustration - Infographic - Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games
Infographic - Learn 3 Economic Concepts by Playing Video Games
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