Friday, September 17, 2010

Me Tycoon: Serious Games for 11-14 Y/O On Career Choices

Serious Games getting young people to discover potential areas of future growth

Kam Star, Managing Director at PlayGen, forwarded me earlier today the link to PlayGen’s newest Serious Game, which I’ve been playing ever since.

PlayGen has just soft launched Me Tycoon, a Social Serious Game-based approach to encouraging students to explore and develop their own life, where their decisions directly affect their prosperity, achievements and happiness.

Young people do not often have the resources, help or opportunities to think about careers, find out about different types of jobs that they may not have previously considered, get to grips with transferable skills, or discover the changing nature of the jobs market and the potential areas of future growth.

What PlayGen Did

PlayGen developed ‘Me Tycoon’ in partnership with icould and support from Nesta.

Me Tycoon is a Social Serious Game (SSG) in which students are encouraged to explore ongoing decisions that directly affect their life.


The game provides an exciting online experience for players to better visualize and understand that today’s careers are not always achieved as a linear progression.

Breakdown of the Game

Players play as themselves, represented by an avatar on the game screen. Players are in charge of their life path and can choose to enter further education to achieve academic or vocational qualifications, or start a career as soon as they end compulsory education.

Players control the game by:

• Managing jobs – search and apply, gain promotions, change career paths.

• Managing qualifications - Choose what to study and how (part time of full time).

• Managing friends – Search and add friends via unique name or email; send friends gifts; compare lives, jobs, money and happiness.

• Purchasing items from the shop – items relate to hobbies, transport, accommodation and activities.

•Improving transferable skills

• Keeping a check on their happiness

• Watching iCould.com videos linked to jobs


• Managing their upkeep and expenses - including accommodation, transport and lifestyle.

How can they win? As with life, it depends on what’s important to the individual. Players are ranked based on happiness, wealth, jobs held, achievements completed and items bought.


The game is over when the player reaches retirement. The retirement age increases throughout the game in relation to events the player may encounter, such as healthcare improvements.

Key messages explored within the game include, grabbing any opportunities for learning, developing skills and gaining experience, understanding that other peoples experience can provide a rich source of learning, and discovering a vast range of careers – new jobs are emerging all the time.