By: Revanche

Personal finance wrecks gaming

April 16, 2010

It only took, oh, 15 years and 7 months to get myself back into gaming.  Not only could I not justify the cost of a new game system, I then couldn’t bring myself to spend money on games.

Thanks to generous early adopter friends, I have an awesome new-to-me Nintendo DS, and San Diego mom gave me games for Christmas. But it turns out that my latest pasttime, being a PF blogger, has ruined me for gaming.

Y’see, the game I’m playing is Ninjatown which is a hilariously cute game based on Shawnimals.  It’s a simple tower defense game: you versus a bunch of baddies. The Goal: don’t let them cross the bridge/eat the bridge/otherwise touch the bridge. Defense is accomplished by spending Ninja Cookies to buy and build Ninja Huts which each contain two defenders of varying strengths and skills who deploy to fight the invading hordes.

Personal finance makes me fail on three levels….

Spending 
You start every level with a set number of cookies.  You have to spend them to build your defenses.  As you play through the level, each enemy is worth another 5 or so cookies, and as you earn them you should be spending them to build more, upgrade more, and generally make your defenses more awesome.  My first dozen rounds I kept dying because I wanted to save my cookies, not spend them!


No Saving 
You can’t save your cookies from level to level, either! They all have to be spent within that level to win because it mocks you mercilessly if you lose.  And you get graded, on top of the mockery, so not only do you get scored on how many cookies you earned, you’re judged by how well you used those cookies but not how many cookies you savedWhat kind of lesson is that to be teaching kids these days???

Depreciation/resale
You can actually sell your huts and towers if you want to …… at a loss. Which is, in this economy, totally true to life, but it also means that I refuse to sell anything, ever.  Even if I placed it poorly, even if my shoulder spazzed out and put it completely in the wrong place and it’s totally ruined my strategy, I refuse to sell it at a loss. Because in real life, I’m a buy and hold investor. If I bought real estate as an investment, I would expect to be in it for the long term and get a renter in there to defray costs, etc.  Selling at a loss would be my last resort. In a ten minute game, you don’t have time to buy and hold or reach the last resort.

Clearly I have trouble with suspending disbelief to immerse myself in video games, but at least that means I bring one important skill to the table: TENACITY. I don’t care how many times I get the “You seem to be having trouble defending this area [snerk], would you like to play in Easy Mode [snicker]?”

NO. I will not wuss out and play Easy Mode. I’m defending Ninjatown in Regular Mode because there IS no Easy Mode in real life!

6 Responses to “Personal finance wrecks gaming”

  1. Jersey Mom says:

    LOL!! Perhaps you should pitch a more real-life game to Nintendo so kids (and other adults) can learn how to handle their money in the “real” world.

  2. Ruth says:

    Too funny. I’d probably suck at it too. I know I’m bad about hoarding stuff in board RPGs. I should buy better armor, fun objects of death, horses, but no…must hoard the shiney gold!

  3. That made me LOL! You know you’ve made it when your financial savvy refuses to be swayed even by a video game!

  4. LOL. You are WAY TOO CUTE! 🙂

    I would totally do that, too – if only I had any hand-eye coordination.

  5. This is exactly why I lose at Power Grid…I want to save my money, not spend it on a $55 power plant. You’re right, gaming is hard for frugalites.

  6. EasyChange says:

    Well done! This post was entertaining and really rings true with me. Looking forward to your next posts!

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