MSUFCU Collaborates with MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences and GEL Lab to Create Spartan Villa Game, Now Available in the Apple App Store

April M. Clobes
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

The free game is designed to increase financial literacy in young adults via engaging gameplay.

EAST LANSING, MI—MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) recently teamed up with Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences and Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab to design Spartan Villa, an iOS game available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, targeted toward MSU students and other young adults.

Spartan Villa addresses common financial challenges, such as implementing a monthly budget and learning how credit works, by creating a realistic financial system embedded in a fun, low-pressure game world. The game introduces players to critical financial concepts through the virtual management of college houses, making players responsible for expanding and maintaining their houses by utilizing their finances effectively. Paying bills on time, allocating funds to the proper accounts, and monitoring their monthly spending ultimately allows players to purchase rooms to expand their houses, host social events to attract future tenants, and increase their overall credit scores. By successfully completing these tasks in the game, players are able to learn effective money management skills and increase their financial literacy in an engaging and accessible way.

April Clobes, MSUFCU’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, stated, “At MSUFCU, financial education is a top priority, and we provide many resources to help increase the financial literacy of MSU students and our local community. We were thrilled when the opportunity arose to work with the talented individuals at the College of Communication Arts & Sciences and GEL Lab at MSU to design an innovative, interactive way to provide financial education for students with the Spartan Villa game.”

The GEL Lab is an association of game research and design faculty and students at MSU, primarily in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. The lab does externally-funded research and development work and employs several graduate and undergraduate students. More information about MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences and the GEL Lab may be found at and, respectively.

MSU Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest university-based credit union, serves Michigan State University and Oakland University faculty, staff, students, alumni association members and their families worldwide and offers a full range of personal- and business-related financial services. Founded in 1937 by a handful of MSU professors and employees, MSUFCU now has 169,000 members, over $2.25 billion in assets, and more than 475 employees. MSUFCU was named the Michigan Credit Union League Credit Union of the Year in 2010.

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