WINDSOR, Conn., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ING U.S., a leading financial services provider, announced today a new mobile game app designed to help build investment and retirement planning awareness for consumers of all ages. Available for free on the App Store(SM) for iPhone ®, iPod touch ® and iPad ®, the app, called STRUCT ®, leverages the power of "gamification" – integrating game elements such as points, levels and a leader board – while it simultaneously exposes players to fundamental investing concepts and terms. To learn more, visit http://structgame.com.
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The premise of the game is for players to work with various building materials that symbolize different investment categories – steel (cash), wood (bonds) and glass (stocks) – as they build increasingly complex towers or "structs." Three main characters, called the build crew, correspond to a unique investor style: aggressive, moderate and conservative. A fourth crewmember is a wild card, representing both market opportunity and risk. Through crew selection and game objectives, metaphors about saving and investing are conveyed that parallel the concepts of risk, diversification, goals and achievement. Crew selection, a diversified strategy, and material handling are critical to a player's success."We know many individuals need to do more when it comes to preparing for their retirement. Gaining greater awareness about accepted investing and saving principles is a critical part of that process," said Rick Mason, president of Corporate Markets for ING U.S. Retirement. "ING U.S. is committed to developing effective ways that promote financial literacy and help consumers achieve positive retirement outcomes. By leveraging the popularity of mobile game apps, we believe STRUCT will entertain users while exposing them to important concepts." Research shows that game apps are the most downloaded items by smartphone owners, and iPhone users are playing games an average of 14.7 hours a month.(1) Industry data also suggests that there are more people in the U.S. who meet the definition of active gamers than who save for retirement.(2) Feedback from ING U.S.'s own retirement plan customers further showed that a game app like STRUCT would be a fun and unique way to engage employees and heighten their awareness of saving and investing concepts. "In the retirement market, innovation often occurs when providers and large corporate employers collaborate on ways to make saving easier for their employees. We saw this with the introduction of automated plan features and options, such as auto-enrollment, auto-escalation and target-date funds(3)," added Mason. "In developing STRUCT, we worked with several of our large plan customers on the concept of a mobile game. Their insights underscore how technology can be a critical tool to inform, engage and inspire positive savings action."