Michigan State University News
October 28, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Students at Michigan State University have developed an interactive online game to help educate people about using credit responsibly.
Participants who play "DealerTown Ford" learn the details of running an auto dealership. The participant not only grows the business, but also learns the details of vehicle financing and the importance of building and maintaining good credit.
The game, along with other financial literacy materials, is on the Ford Motor Credit Co.'s website - www.fordcredit.com.
The game was created by students in SpartaSoft, MSU's student video game developers' organization. The team won a video game design challenge against the University of Michigan's WolverineSoft organized by Ford Credit to create an application tied to the U.S. launch of the new Ford Fiesta.
"This project gave the students a wonderful opportunity to apply what they have learned in the game design and development specialization at MSU toward a real-world project for a real-world client," said Brian Winn, an associate professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media who advised the SpartaSoft student team.
Team members included MSU students Jordan Ajlouni, Adam Breece, Chris Cornish, Marie Lazar, Jason Maynard and Jon Moore.
"Financial literacy is a serious subject, and one that's very important to all consumers, so that is why we offer a lot of information and interactive content on fordcredit.com," said Joy Falotico, Ford Credit vice president, Global Marketing. "And we try to teach about building credit and using it responsibly in a fun and engaging way.
"DealerTown Ford simulates a real-world experience, and the students' graphic execution was well done," she said. "It was exciting to see the creativity, technical talent and project management skills come together on both teams as they created their games."
In addition to publishing their game, the winning students received a trip to the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where the game and the new Ford Fiesta were on display.
For more information on SpartaSoft, visit www.spartasoft.msu.edu.