I went to Finance Park.
If you don’t know what Finance Park is, it’s this simulation where you pretend you’re an adult who has to budget his salary for the month. It’s pretty fun.
At the start, you get this “Life Situation Card”. I was a married man with a one-year-old and a three-year-old. And my age was 25. Now this implies that I had kids at 22. And I met someone who had kids at 17. Obviously, protection is not very popular at Finance Park.
I’d also like to point out that when we did the preparation, we got to choose our life situations, and I chose being single. And I’ve found that by being single I was able to save enough money to practically buy Earth. But being married… well, that’s a different picture.
To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Shah is not married. And if I am correct, he is a very, very, very smart person indeed.
Finance Park is a giant collection of little kiosks that are supposed to be businesses. I imagine they get 99% or more of their income from the companies that pay to have a kiosk there. At the start, you go around and pick up these “option sheets” that show what you can buy. You get options for all sorts of neat crap- houses, cars, food, you know. Although the part that I hate is that you’re forced to buy something from each category, so you get oddities such as having to buy a goddamn Caribbean cruise, and being able to order lobster at Burger King.
Once you get all the option sheets you make your purchases. You’re required to buy something from each kiosk that’s within your “budget guidelines”, which are these fancy percentages that tell you what you can spend at each. It’s annoying as hell to set up all your numbers and solve for X and all that crap just to find out that you’re one (1) dollar short.
Finance Park gets 7 out of 10 points. It would’ve gotten a 6 if it weren’t for the Wheel of Injuries over at Kaiser Permanente. It’s one of those fancy game-show wheels where you can see which fictional injury you get. I got a sunburn. Arjun stepped on a nail. Sam had to go in for his annual mammogram.