Are dating simulators the future of life insurance education?

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, innovative approaches are being adopted to engage and educate consumers. One such intriguing trend is the concept of gamification—a strategic process that infuses game-like elements into traditionally non-game systems, services, organizations or activities to drive engagement. By incorporating game elements and mechanics into traditionally mundane topics, like consumer banking, healthcare or life insurance, companies are revolutionizing the way individuals approach their financial well-being. Through interactive experiences, users can grasp complex concepts with ease, gaining a deeper understanding of their financial options and responsibilities.

The power of gamification in financial services

Approaching the topic of life insurance in an interactive way is not a new idea at all. In a 2022 life insurance report, CI noted that most firms offer a dedicated education section that typically involves articles, videos and infographics. For example, Northwestern Mutual not only provides educational articles regarding life insurance, but also life insurance & retirement savings calculators along with a life insurance quiz being embedded within some of their articles. These features provide another educational experience for those trying to learn about life insurance without having to read through a multitude of articles.

While gamification offers exciting possibilities for interactivity, it is important to consider both its benefits and potential pitfalls. On one hand, gamified experiences enhance customer engagement, simplify complex topics and create positive attitudes toward financial planning. On the other hand, there is a need to strike a balance between enjoyment and the responsible management of personal finances. Care must be taken to ensure that future gamification attempts do not oversimplify crucial financial decisions or distract from important considerations.

American firms can also look overseas for gamification inspiration. In Japan, where life insurance remains popular, one firm has taken gamification to an entirely new place.

A quirky twist on financial education

Step into the extraordinary world of “I Am Not Insured!”—a Japanese dating simulation game that defies gamification expectations and reimagines the way life insurance is taught. Developed by One to Ten Co., a prominent life insurance company in Japan, this game presents a fascinating challenge: players must resist purchasing life insurance while being irresistibly courted by an anime-style “insurance idol,” a charismatic guide who uses his charm and knowledge to engage players in conversations about the importance of life insurance. Voiced by a prominent figure in the anime community, Tomikazu Sugita—known best for his main roles in “Gintama” and “Demon Slayer”—the insurance idol adds an extra layer to the game, capturing the attention of players and making the learning experience even more engaging. As players navigate through a series of engaging dialogue choices and intense “insurance attack” sequences, they not only experience a dating simulator but also gain valuable knowledge about different types of insurance.

Translated screenshots from Japanese life insurance game
Translations from Google Translate

Although it is unclear whether “I Am Not Insured!” has succeeded in its life insurance education goals, the game itself underscores the potential of gamification in transforming financial services. Interactive financial education apps, reward systems for meeting savings goals and stimulated investment platforms are just a few examples of how gamification is reshaping the industry. By blending entertainment and education, these initiatives foster financial literacy which can lead to responsible financial behaviors and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their financial future.

Empowering financial futures

In a world where financial literacy is more important than ever, gamification presents a compelling approach to empower individuals and cultivate informed financial futures. By leveraging game mechanics and digital trends, life insurance and other industries can engage and educate customers like never before. Whether it’s exploring games like “I Am Not Insured!” or embracing other gamified initiatives, the path to financial literacy starts with an open mind and a willingness to embrace innovative approaches.

Andreas Tsiaras

Andreas Tsiaras is an analyst on CI's life insurance and annuity team.