Youâre the short, blue alien with two long antennae, trying to hover your way across town to the credit union, where youâll deposit the coins you grab on your journey.
So goes the adventure in a Flash-based, online game created and hosted at $172-million Motor City Community CU (MCCCU) website here. The player must deftly use a computer mouse to guide the blue alien along a winding, narrow pathâany fumbles force the player to start again.
The business strategy that launched the gameâas well as the name of the gameâis not clear: MCCCU did not respond to e-mails or phone calls from Credit Union Journal, but readers can find the site at www.mcccu.com.
Meanwhile, at Langley FCU in Hampton, Va., kids can play GIF-based online gamesâor color online picturesâdeveloped by the $1.2-billion CU. Games include mazes, word searches and crosswords.
âWe want to provide programs that draw interest so that kids will come back to the site every so often,â said Brett Noll, SVP/CMO.
âWeâre facing a lot of competition in our area. Weâre hoping to get members in the door while theyâre young and provide them with a memorable experience, so that we end up with good members for life. In addition, weâre trying to educate children so they can live a good financial life.â
The online games are just part of an award-winning, enterprise-wide effort to attract youth, said Noll. About 10% of the CUâs membership is 18 years old or younger, he added.
Whereas the MCCCU home page links directly to its âcoin-picking blue-alienâ game, Langley FCU hosts a separate âJust For Kidsâ page, where visitors can play the simple games created by the CU. Alternatively, kids can follow links to interactive, Flash-based games hosted by CUNAâs Googolplex, âGoogolplex has such wonderful material that we havenât seen the need to continue to develop our own games,â said Mike Budahn, senior Webmaster at the CU. âBut I havenât given up on ours.â
LFCU started creating its games and coloring activities at least seven years ago using common image-editing software, according to Budahn. âThe games have such an appeal,â he said. âSite hits arenât as big as MySpace, Iâm sure, but we do get dozens of hits per month to the Just For Kids page. Our intention is to expand our games because theyâre very simple to create.â
Online gaming at Langley FCU is a small piece of the financial-literacy puzzle, Budahn continued. âWeâre working this year to enhance our kids-presence by developing three separate kidsâ sites, each one with focused content for elementary, middle and high schools.â
The current collective Just For Kids site is awkward, he explained. âYou just canât talk to a 5-year-old the way you talk to a teenager. We need the opportunity to present products and services to each group on terms that group can understand.â
Search the following terms at cujournal.com to read more about tech that may attract younger members:
The Site That Has Some CUs All-A-Twitter; Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster Are Ready To Offer Consumers The Truth; AYSOS? NVM the F2F, TXT MSG
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