Gamification is no longer just a buzzword, but rather a concept that is gaining increasing traction, especially in the area of education and training where it is profoundly changing the way people interact with the learning environment.
Globally, gamification of education is a rising trend and a strategy for increasing engagement by incorporating game elements into an educational environment, with the goal being to generate levels of involvement equal to what games can usually produce.
Essentially, gamification is designed to encourage intrinsic motivation, which is the desire to do something because a participant has an interest in the task. It has been found that intrinsic motivation leaves learners genuinely enjoying the topics they are studying, by introducing videogame design and game elements into learning environments.
This is the philosophy behind the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE’s) Virtual Trading Game (VTG), which is a virtual trading platform that simulates a real trading environment and gives members of the general public a risk-free opportunity to trade shares, presents the ideal opportunity for individuals to gain knowledge and learn to invest their money wisely.
“The VTG is designed to helps those participating to learn about the fundamentals of investing and encourages them to research and strategise around trading of JSE-listed instruments. Participants test their trading skills through a simulated trading programme where performance is tracked and measured,” says Vuyo Lee, JSE director: marketing and corporate affairs.
Lee says that as the continent’s biggest stock exchange and a responsible corporate citizen, the JSE wants to play an active role in creating a financially literate society in South Africa.
“What better way to do this than to allow South Africans to gain real life skills in investing and trading on the stock exchange while participating in an exciting game with a chance to win cash prizes for their participation?”
Ability to save
She points out that while access to financial services and products continues to grow, South Africa’s low financial literacy rate means that huge portions of the population are unable to manage their money and invest effectively, resulting in over-indebtedness and other financial woes.
Financial literacy refers to a person’s ability to understand and apply different financial skills effectively, including personal financial management, budgeting and saving. Higher levels of financial literacy allow individuals to become self-sufficient, ultimately enabling them to achieve financial independence.
A report by the Human Sciences Research Council found that poor financial literacy is hindering South Africans’ ability to save, with 48% of people not being able to save at all, while 42% reporting no long-term savings of any kind.
“Considering the urgent need to boost South Africans’ financial literacy skills, the VTG provides the ideal opportunity for people to gain real life skills in investing and trading on the stock exchange while participating in an exciting game with a chance to win investment vouchers,” says Lee.
The VTG provides the ideal opportunity for people to gain real life skills in investing and trading on the stock exchange
Each VTG participant receives a virtual R1-million to build an investment portfolio and is free to trade on the market. The rankings on the leader board are based on the holdings (gains and losses) of each player. To keep things simple, the competition entails trading of shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs) only. Participants will also benefit from earning interest on their cash balance.
The competition will run until 23 September 2022, with R100 000 up for grabs in investment vouchers. So, go ahead and start trading today! Winners will be announced on 28 September 2022.
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