Financial education with Command and Conquer game

For the last couple of days, I was thinking about the best way to innoculate my kids' minds from the Robin Hood mentality. I want to instill in them on how to be financially smart and not to become infected by the entitlement disease that are so prevelant in our society. At this moment of writing, they are still too young to learn how to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad or play the CASHFLOW board game.

Looking back, I realised that I gained some insights after spending countless of hours on a DOS computer game. The name of the game is Command and Conquer. For those who are too young to remember this game, it is the successor of Dune II and the predecessor of Red Alert game series.

In Command and Conquer, I get to play a role as a battlefield commander. Where I get to tell my "virtual" loyal soldiers or terrorists(depending if you are playing as GDI or NOD) to kill and die in horrible ways for me in order to defeat the enemy.

a screen shot of command and conquer

Screen shot of Command and Conquer game - Image credit :

Now, what kind of insights that I can derive from playing this game and relate the insights to financial education?

Be the commander. Not the flamethrower, not the tank driver, not the chinook pilot and certainly not T-Rex.

units in command and conquer

image credit :

  • Be a business owner, tell your soldiers(employees) to do things for you.

  • Even if you fail, you get to restart or replay again on different battlefields.... until your time runs out a.k.a game over. Translation : restart your business elsewhere or different vertical/industry/economy/country until you become too old.

  • If you are a soldier and when you die in the don't get to respawn again unless there is a barrack/factory with enough money to produce and maintain you. Translation: if you are employee, jobs are created if the company has enough capital or revenue to hire and train you for the job.

Moving on to revenue. As a commander, I need to ensure a steady supply of power to my base and mine ores to refine them into money. With the sufficient power generation and steady source of ores, I get to build more units to attack and defeat my enemy.

So, how does the requirement of power(electricity) and continuous supply of ores relates to financial education?

Accumulate assets. Ensure there are more assets than liabilities and guard them.

  • Two things to remember. Assets are things that put money into my pocket or generate income/cash flow continuously. Liabilities are things that take money out from my pocket or suck cash continuously.

  • Most of the time, each battle starts with no money or very little money. I need to accumulate assets such as building sufficient power plants and refineries near an ore field to dominate the battlefields. Excess ores are deposit into silos first until refined later by the refinery. Also need to ensure liabilities - such as the number of troops do not die off so easily before achieving the objectives that I give them - are in check and not eating too much into my revenue. Translation: I'm pretty sure that most business people do not have much money to start with. With shoestring budget, I need to ensure steady cash flow generated from my businesses or assets such as real estate properties or websites to keep myself financially viable and not to depend on food stamp or handouts. Silo here means bank or financial instituition.

assets and build a base to guard them

Screen shot of a base guarding assets in Command and Conquer game - Image credit:

  • Enemies are constantly monitoring you and will attack you to defeat you. So build a base and guard your assets. Translation: Much like in real world, financial wolves or self appointed Robin Hoods are constantly prowling for financially naive people. They will offer you myriad of financial products that claim to make you rich or rob you. In a nutshell, they are telling you to hand over your money, invest them on your behalf. Win or lose the investment, they still get to charge you a fee for managing your money. Basically, they are telling you to outsource the duty of guarding your base of assets to them.

  • New Insight from my friend Ng Swee Meng - "don't just build a base, build multiple bases! (Multiple sources of income/investment/etc)". Yup, safety in numbers... don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have multiple bases. i.e multiple income stream.

Beware of Prussian Education system. Barracks that produce your troops adopted this education system.

  • Prussian education system is adopted by most countries as a way to keep the population under control and be loyal to the state. Most of the government "free"(funded by taxpayers) schools adopted this system worldwide. Remember, if it is free then you are the product. The scope of the Prussian education system is beyond this article, watch this video and you will understand the danger it will do to children's mind.
  • In short, Prussian education system's objective is to produce soldiers and employees that are loyal and obedient. Much like the barracks in Command and Conquer.

barracks producing soldiers in Command and Conquer

A barrack producing soldiers in Command and Conquer.

To wrap it up...

I will teach my kids on what I know and hopefully it will play an important role in determining their future. How about you?

Do you still want to send your kids to the schools/barracks? I leave it to you to answer this question. I'm going to play Command and Conquer with my kids now.


By AdamNg

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