The Literal Game of Life – RA Program Idea


I just did my last required program for the semester!

If you haven’t read about me other two programs from this semester (Cider and Study and DYEversiTIE) it’s worth mentioning that the university I attend and technically now work for has a curriculum that resident assistants have to follow. This include programs having to hit certain values.

This program was a Financial Responsibility value program.

This program idea was put together when another RA and I through about turning an entire building into a life sized game of Life, but we decided that was a terrible idea. We did however love the name, The Literal Game of Life.

Thanks to our boss, she gave us a game that turned out to be really fun and educational.

This game can be found here. It has all the instructions and materials you need for the game only we twisted the rules a little to work better for learning purposes.

We divided residents into three groups as that worked out so there were 3-4 residents (and one RA who came for the free ice cream) in each group. This allowed more brains to work together and created a more “family” vibe per table.

Next, we handed out a family profile to each group. There are 6 to choose from so we used the poorest and the next middle two incomes.

We then handed out the cost of living information (life hack print a copy of this per group, we were dumb and only had one copy that was passed around and had many pictures taken of it).

Groups then budged out one month for their family based on all the information that was given to them.

This resulted in several arguments about what was best for their children. It was very interesting to hear the group that had the lowest income threaten to sell their child as they couldn’t provide what they wanted and the group that had the middle highest income not really struggle at all.

As each group finished out budgeting their month, we handed them out a game of life card and that was the “new month”.  Residents then used their old budget and reworked it to fit whatever the card had for them. Some cards were very positive, like win $5,000 from he lottery, and others left family’s to struggle.

After a few “months” we asked each group what they learned. Many mentioned how they had many unexpected costs like health insurance or internet, thet they don’t usually think about having to pay.

We of course bought ice cream for all those who participated to enjoy.

Even though we only had 10 residents that came to participate in the activity, it sparked great discussion and thoughts about real life financial decisions that families have to make every day.

Thats 3/3 successful programs for this semester. #Score.


One thought on “The Literal Game of Life – RA Program Idea

  1. do you have copies of the things you handed out?? for example cost of living and the different classes. Also how much time was give to eaach family and how long was the entire program? This is an awesme program and i would like to try it with my residents if you could send me some info on it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top