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The main menu of NMSU's Learning Games Lab's award-winning app, "Night of the Living Debt." JUL16

NMSU Games Lab’s Latest App Strikes Gold

New Mexico State University’s Learning Games Lab worked with University of Idaho Extension to produce an app that has garnered high praise and an award.

“Night of the Living Debt,” a game used for teaching high school students the basics of credit score, has been awarded gold in the 2016 Serious Awards Competition.

“The Serious Games field has matured now, and all of the games on that list are incredible games,” said Barbara Chamberlin, NMSU Extension Games and Learning specialist. “A rising tide raises all boats,” said Chamberlin regarding the stiff competition from this year’s new games.

“Night of the Living Debt” was created to help high school students learn about their credit score and guide them to make better decisions with their credit in mind.

Gameplay from Night of the Living Debt. JUL16
Gameplay from Night of the Living Debt. JUL16

“Your credit score is looked at by banks, potential employers, even people setting rental fees,” Chamberlin said.

The app was heavily driven by user testing with students’ opinions guiding the course of the app’s development.

“We shaped the game from these testing sessions,” said Seth Powers, lead developer for the app.

“We found though, it works well with middle school through college, and adults too,” Chamberlin said.

Luke Erikson and Lyle Hanson, financial literacy experts from the University of Idaho, brought the app idea to the NMSU Learning Games Lab after receiving funding from CoBank, a co-op bank for rural and agricultural industries. They played a significant role in the app’s development, and have developed educational materials to help educators use the game. The team hopes to expand the app with additional funding.

“The best reward is to see students like our game and recommend it to their friends and then see how they learned from it,” Chamberlin said.

The Serious Play Awards will take place at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,July 26-28.

This free app is available for the iPad at the iTunes Store and:
http://www.nightofthelivingdebtgame.org

To view more of NMSU Learning Games Lab’s app, visit their site at:
http://learninggameslab.org/#

Author: Peter Foreman – NMSU

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