I've never thought much of those investing games where players use fake money to pick and choose real stocks and bonds in order to "win."

Sure it's a great way to learn about investing strategies, but winning money without any type of real payoff seems rather pointless.

Along comes an impact investing game and my attitude has changed a bit.

GBO Hawaii is an impact investing game where players can see the results of their investment decisions on people and the environment. "Through private-sector investment in sustainable businesses (a field known as impact investing) players are able to help the state of Hawaii meet its sustainability goals, reducing fossil rule consumption, advancing the local organic food movement, and reducing waste generation," GBO Hawaii says. (Read more or play the game here http://gbohawaii.com) (PS: I found out about the game via http://ecopreneurist.com an interesting blog, too.)

What I like about GBO Hawaii are the social variables that result from the financial investments. It's a cool way to link the effect of money with the affect of money.

If you are thinking this is a good way to teach kids -- GBO Hawaii is one step ahead; it has a version for grade-school kids.

Now if we could just enlist every state in this game, or for that matter every city in the world -- we could see the positive change that impact investing can make. 

Thomas M. Kostigen, who writes about impact investing for fa-mag.com, is a New York Times best-selling author whose latest book is Golden Dawn.