Video games have often served as an alternate universe where mortality is malleable, violence is sanitized and the player’s destiny is literally in their hands. Over the years video games have been utilized as both a tool for education and an avenue for entertainment. In AXA Equitable’s life insurance video game Pass it On, the company hopes to bridge the gap between entertainment and education all while draping the usually uncomfortable topic of life insurance in a palatable and enjoyable medium.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, NY, NY,  a subsidiary of  AXA Financial Inc., rolled out Pass It On on in September and as of November 10, nearly 64,000 players have played 232,000 times. The game stresses the importance of life insurance by allowing players to select avatars (an alternate self) and beneficiaries. Gold, the currency in the game, affords players the opportunity to purchase silver or gold shields, respectfully representing term and permanent life insurance. As the player navigates through the streets of New York City, they are confronted with risks and susceptibilities that put their beneficiaries at risk. Players hope to mitigate the risks by saving money and managing expenses deftly.

“Games aren’t just child’s play. They have the potential to be educational tools. According to techcrunch.com, 100 million people played causal social online games last year, 60% of whom were women, with an average age of 43,” said Connie O’Brien, senior vice president of internet strategy and design for AXA Equitable.

After Coral Hall, interactive marketing manager for AXA Equitable came up with the concept, AXA was spurred into action by dismal statistics put forth by LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., that determine life insurance sales to be at 50 year low. AXA hopes that Pass It On will propel the importance of Life Insurance into public consciousness.