According to NZ Herald, government, Joy Business Academy, Xero and BNZ joined forces to create video games to help players see what it’s like to run their own business.
The games, called the Tycoon Games series, which includes Restaurant Tycoon and Tech Tycoon, “challenges players to use what the World Economic Forum has deemed as 10 essential skills vital for the future of employment,” NZ Herald says. Those skills include “emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility and critical and creative thinking.”
Players are able to level up and earn badges for certain achievements, which are determined by “how they manage scenarios in the game, including paying supplier invoices and wages.” The game series also introduces players to real world challenges that small businesses encounter.
“As technology advances and job roles evolve, there will be a change in the skills required in the future,” said Craig Hudson, Xero New Zealand country manager. “The Tycoon Series tackles the challenges associated with this change head on, addressing financial literacy and business evolution skills as players progress through the game.”
The takeaway for decision makers:
The Tycoon Game series is more than the name suggests – fun and games. Carmel Sepuloni, the social development minister, told NZ Herald that the game series serves as a type of lifeline for business owners thrown in the rip tide of day-to-day tasks. “Every year SMEs are constrained through a combination of external pressures, lack of experience and commercial acumen. Recruitment, training and retention of good employees is cited as one of the most challenging aspects of businesses for this group,” she said.
As a result, decision makers might consider the game series and similar tools as a form of continuing education for their businesses, especially as customer demands and workflows change continuously. Tools like these can help decision makers themselves, employees, and others stay current on management skills, and keep the business running smoothly. “It’s a good reminder that regardless of whether you’re at high school or…running your own business, investing in education, upskilling and training should always be a focus,” Hudson told NZ Herald.