Tomy’s new piggy bank rewards savings with in-built RPG

Banq_Quest_1.jpg

This new Tomy piggy bank gives forward-thinking youngsters a reason to save their quarters: it features a miniature RPG game on the front, and every coin you pump into the bank is translated into gold, which can be used to buy weapons, items and armor for your character. Ultima meets Tamagotchi, basically. Although I’d hasten to add that a savings account is a better return on investment than putting your money into a wardrobe for an imaginary elf.

Enjoy this new Tomy RPG Piggy Bank [Akihabara News]

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17 Responses to Tomy’s new piggy bank rewards savings with in-built RPG

  1. stratosfyr says:

    #3: I don’t suppose Bankquest also teaches children about time preference, opportunity cost, capital investment, amortization, and inflation?

    It’s funny, a lot of RPGs do include those but don’t really say they are or explain why. And they don’t let you manipulate them, or use them in a realistic way.

    Time preference: wouldn’t it be great to get a +10 dmg sword when your dmg is 3, instead of when it’s 20? Too bad that’s usually impossible.

    Opportunity cost: spend on defence or offence? Use the fancy armour or sell it and save up for something better?

    Amortization: some RPGs let your equipment get damaged over time. Equipment becomes less valuable as you level up.

    Inflation: at early levels, 100 gold might be like Whoa. At later levels, that’s pocket change.

    My mom made me (try to) read The Wealthy Barber when I was 11 or 12. All I got out of it was “buy low, sell high.”

  2. narnie says:

    What stops you from cutting out the bottom and start laundering quarters?

  3. Jack says:

    Zuzu, you have some good points. And I think there is a larger issue of schools world-wide not educating students on the basics of personal economics and finance. I really wish someone would actually push to explain that beyond the simple “start saving early”.

    Imagine if people actually understood this stuff? The U.S. might not be in the financial mess it’s in now.

  4. semiotix says:

    Although I’d hasten to add that a savings account is a better return on investment than putting your money into a wardrobe for an imaginary elf.

    Elf Wardrobe Supplements are a perfectly valid investment vehicle for low-to-moderate income households. Obviously they don’t give you the return of traditional gold-farming or NPC-hireling macro portfolios, but that’s offset by the low investment threshold (as little as 20GP). Even a teenager working a minimum wage job can develop positive and lifelong financial habits by setting aside a small portion of her paycheck for, say, a +0 cuirass or a low-enchantment jerkin.

    Time to get with the new economic realities, man!

  5. holtt says:

    Oh FFS it’s a PIGGY BANK with a GAME IN IT! You want to totally ruin this thing?

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    Well now, I think we’ve successfully sucked the fun completely out of this one. :\

    Bad grups.

  7. zuzu says:

    Zuzu, you have some good points. And I think there is a larger issue of schools world-wide not educating students on the basics of personal economics and finance. I really wish someone would actually push to explain that beyond the simple “start saving early”.

    At the same time, I’m immensely gratified that compulsory public education doesn’t attempt education on matters such as economics and philosophy. Those are incredibly politically weighted topics, and until we have critical pedagogy rather than a hidden curriculum, better that children have the opportunity to learn them independently from teachers who commonly act more like political officers than like Socrates. We only have to look at the education of science and evolution, or the whitewashed history of slavery and “Indian removal”, that Lincoln and FDR were “our greatest Presidents” rather than tyrants, or any other form of “history written by the victors“.

    Imagine if people actually understood this stuff? The U.S. might not be in the financial mess it’s in now.

    However, yes, that would be my idealized hope.

    Oh FFS it’s a PIGGY BANK with a GAME IN IT! You want to totally ruin this thing?

    Don’t think I haven’t considered that I’m “overthinking” this. But also consider for a moment that, with the current monetary policy in the United States (and Japan’s virtually 0% interest rate), saving money is technically a bad move. (Although it’s sorely needed for overall economic stability; the problem lay with the aforementioned monetary policy.) Instead, expansion of money and credit actually depreciates the value of your savings. Wall Street aggressively discourages the “hoarding of money” and rigs the system to favor credit (ala FICO) to make purchases in advance of depreciation, which allows for much of your life to be determined by the arbitrary and secretive “credit score”, rather than privately earned savings and investment.

    Setting aside the “moral imperative” with regards to challenging a financial system which greatly encourages sharecropping over ownership, for most people seeking to fashion a comfortable life for themselves and provide for a family, saving money in the traditional “piggybank” sense is actually disadvantageous. What’s more important is acquiring an intuitive sense of interest rates or “the vig”, in order to calculate basic cashflow analysis and a reasonable return on investment (ROI).

  8. Dug North says:

    Did they reuse the molds from the c. 1980 board/electron game called “The Dark Tower”?

    Regards,

    Dug

  9. Rob, Denmark says:

    1) Do they have many quarters in Japan?

    2) I predict: Kids stealing money, in order to play the game, if they are unable to ‘recycle’ the coins from the piggy bank.

  10. zuzu says:

    I don’t suppose Bankquest also teaches children about time preference, opportunity cost, capital investment, amortization, and inflation?

    I remember when I was very young and first started a savings account, two facts were imparted to me: 1.) inflation exists (for reasons then unexplained), and 2.) most adults have no idea why banks provide interest on savings they hold. Can Bankquest improve upon this circumstance?

  11. Calton says:

    Although I’d hasten to add that a savings account is a better return on investment than putting your money into a wardrobe for an imaginary elf.

    You haven’t seen the low interest rates that savers get in Japan, have you? Bottom line: yeah, better than a piggy bank, but not by much.

  12. holtt says:

    Don’t think I haven’t considered that I’m “overthinking” this. But…

    FUN SUCKER! As soon as you use “But” you lose :^)

  13. holtt says:

    I posted an idea on Raph Koster’s blog suggesting you could put this online somehow and tie it to an MMO. The more money you put in your bank the more money your game character gets. It’s like a new twist on RMT (Real Money Transactions) except the money “spent” in the game stays in your pocket and not to the game company.

    There are two interesting serious games applications built around gameboy/DS type systems that do this. One of them (forget the name) puts a pedometer on the DS and allows you to gain “points” you can turn in by running. Run more, get more points. The other is called Glucoboy. It puts a blood glucose meter on a Game Boy system. Each time you test your blood, you get points in the game.

    Of course these kinds of systems are prone to hacking – stick the pedometer on some machine or go around sticking the cat all the time or keep feeding quarters into the bank and pulling them out. But the idea is that there is a very interesting social, online and fun motivator for the actions you take – beyond just someone saying, “You should do this.”

  14. zuzu says:

    Well now, I think we’ve successfully sucked the fun completely out of this one. :\

    Congratulations; you were successfully excluded from the vanguard class by the propaedeutic function of social control.

    c.f. elite theory

    * iron law of oligarchy (Political Parties by Robert Michels)

    * Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Bad grups.

    Wow, I learn new vocabulary every day… and I thought “litotes” was interesting.

  15. zuzu says:

    Of course these kinds of systems are prone to hacking – stick the pedometer on some machine or go around sticking the cat all the time or keep feeding quarters into the bank and pulling them out. But the idea is that there is a very interesting social, online and fun motivator for the actions you take – beyond just someone saying, “You should do this.”

    FUN SUCKER! As soon as you use “But” you lose :^)

  16. holtt says:

    Hah! Don’t you see by carefully using “but” I was able to negate the negatives of potential game hacks, and turn it into a POSITIVE?

    Stick that up your but!

    Another game idea. Let people donate money to causes and have them gain in-game money based on donations.

  17. Jake0748 says:

    At first glance I thought the title was about a piggy bank having something to do with rocket propelled grenades. :)

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