A woman contimplating what to spend her refund on, her baby, her house, or other necessities.

D2D Lures Traffic to Video Games

The secret to D2D’s success in luring players to its financial video games starts with the $150,000 it spends to design each game with MIT researchers and an award-winning Web designer.

But the Boston non-profit puts just as much emphasis – and an undisclosed amount of funding from The Wal-Mart Foundation – into distributing the games.

D2D has used an e-mail blitz to 100,000 community college students in Indiana and hosted game competitions in city neighborhoods in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, New York, and Maryland. It partners with large employers, financial companies, state governments, and the military – organizations it recruits to promote the games to its employees, clients, or members. New products aimed at distribution include Spanish-language games and apps for the iPad and Droid.

D2D’s five games have attracted a combined total of 106,000 unique visits since the first and most popular one, Celebrity Calamity, came out a year ago. That’s not quite in league with, say, Disney, which has had 750,000 visitors to its Great Piggy Bank Adventure and an Epcot exhibit in Orlando backing it up, according to T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company that collaborated with Disney on the game. …Learn More

You're running out of money fast - here are your options Waiter, Warehouse Worker, Temp

Learn Financial Dilemmas of the Poor

A new game on the Web – Spent – is a compelling way to experience the impossible choices the poor must make every day about money.

Spent was created by Urban Ministries of Durham in North Carolina, which operates a food pantry, clothing closet, and homeless shelter; and a local advertising firm, McKinney. The game gets its point across so well because McKinney interviewed the ministry’s clients and translated their real-world predicaments.

The challenge: players must get to the end of the month without depleting their small paychecks on routine bills and unexpected expenses. So, your child is invited to a birthday party, but you cannot afford the $5 gift. Do you send your child to the party without a gift, make her stay home, or buy the gift anyway – and risk running out of money? …Learn More

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