Let the games begin!

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Let the games begin!


We caught up with Deon Claase, who recently joined the School of Financial Planning and Insurance and is the lecturer for modules offered on the Higher Certificate in Financial Products and Financial Planning.  Deon shares his passion for gaming, and how there are interesting times ahead for this in higher education.

Deon, you’ve certainly piqued our interest with gaming, so tell us a bit more about yourself and your passion for gaming.

People are often surprised to hear that I am a Gamer. I am known as a “Trophy or Achievement Hunter” and I am currently 2nd in South Africa and in the top 500 in the World Leaderboards on Playstation 4. My passion for gaming, specifically Trophy or Achievement Hunting in general, stems from the satisfaction of escaping reality. Whether it be immersing myself in worlds which can take up to 200 hours to explore, being King of the Hill in fighting games, experiencing team wins in first-person shooters, and of course, experiencing the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” after being the lone survivor in a Battle Royale, it all adds to the sense of competition, the sense of achievement, and the sense of community.

So how does gaming relate to education, specifically in the higher education distance-learning environment?

Large percentages of our students are currently employed and often find it difficult to juggle work and studies. As a distance learning higher education institution, a lot of responsibility is placed on the learner to actively prepare for assignments and exams. As a new lecturer, I feel that gamification of the presentation of our modules are inevitable.

Gamification is effective because it taps into people’s natural desires for competition and achievement and increases participation. It provides a platform for learners to interact with each other and provides a sense of community, instead of feeling as if you are on your own in this journey to achieve your NQF Level. We are currently working on a gamification project behind the scenes for next year, so watch this space!

What do you think the future holds for financial planning/insurance/education?

I think a major threat to the Financial Planner, going forward, is the so-called introduction and development of the Robo-Advisor.

In an Article for Moneyweb, Craig Torr said: “As a person’s circumstances become more complex, the need for a human financial advisor will generally grow. Once size does not fit all when it comes to financial advice, and a holistic financial plan should ideally cover the full spectrum of financial planning, including risk, retirement, estate planning, tax planning, cashflow, debt, budgeting and business planning. As more and more fee-based financial advisors enter the fray, more consumers understand the benefit of having a personal financial ‘touchstone’ on speed dial to bounce off any financial decisions, at no additional cost. Robo-advice, being what it is, is devoid of emotion and lacks the intimacy and trust that is often forged between financial advisor and client.

As robo-advisors grow alongside professional fee-based advisors, it is likely that each will carve out a niche depending on the type of advice that is required by the consumer. Adopting a truly client-centric approach to financial planning means that consumers will seek out good financial planning advice, in the style that best suits their needs. At the end of the day, consumers will vote with their feet and follow the path that leads to best advice.”


After 18 years in the Banking and Financial Planning Industry, the definition of success appeared to me as being someone who made the most sales, money, awards, titles, overseas trips, a closed-off office with a door, the flashiest car and the coveted parking bay close to the office entrance. Although these things were not bad to aspire too, I often found that they would come at the expense of the quality of advice given and dealings with clients.

Early in my financial planning career, my mentor, Robert Hurst, taught me the principle that if my practice would be client centric, and based on “best advice” for the client, going forward, then all the above-mentioned success traits would follow. This was a valuable lesson learnt and proved to be my measure for success in my financial planning career.

Looking to the future, the ever-increasing pace of change of legislation, and the introduction and development of Robo-Advisors, place a huge strain on financial advisers and their practices. A financial adviser needs to ask himself why would a client choose me? Are you client-centric? Are you providing a holistic approach to financial planning? Are you skilled and educated in the advice you are providing? All these factors will play a role and the time is now to define you…. After all, you are unique.

We thank Deon for sharing his time and his insights and wish him a warm welcome… or rather, let the games begin!

13 Dec 2019