What's this game about?
It's about you handling money and resources in an uncertain economic world. Players are competing on a level field (for once), using money and resources to make economic moves against real economic forces. It's about your economic performance.
What's the most important concept in this game?
Value- what something is worth. If you don't know the value of things, you're lost. In the game, we're trying to get resources to put together to increase value to exchange for money. We're using our imagination to jump on opportunities to create, develop, protect and sell value at the right time to get the most money. Building value in competition is your main challenge.
What's fun and exciting about it?
Everyone is on a level playing field out-bidding others for resources, out-bluffing others into overpaying, out-risking others for big-payoff long-shot deals, taking unprotected resources from others, creating the most value, using our best timing to get paid the most, seeing others make mistakes, capitalizing on those mistakes and having the game crash before your opponents have cashed in. It's a hoot– often with those would'a-could'a-should'a moans and groans at the end.
An example of learning?
It is said that experience is the best teacher. A young first-time player, unfortunately not familiar with the value of money, quickly spent all her money on cards useless to her. Within two rounds, she got it. Her moves became increasingly purposeful and focused. She began to consider the value of value and made dramatically better economic decisions within minutes. (No words.)
But it doesn't look like it has anything to do with economics or making money.
You're right. What does economics look like? The reason it looks the way it does is because we're playing with ideas and concepts, not objects. Ideas commonly use symbols (such as X's, O's, lines, boxes and arrows) to represent other things (that can be anything) and are not limited to detailed pictures.
As a teacher/mentor, can I use this game as a tool?
Yes. This teacher/instructor/helper page may be of interest to you. If you're playing just for fun, don't do anything– just play.
Do I have to know anything about economics to play well?
No. And maybe it's best if you don't know economics. We're born with a sense for survival. We know good deals from bad ones. Special six year-olds have played competitively. They knew nothing about economics but appeared to play with their natural, innate senses.
Whats different about this game?
No fluff- which can be fun. But, it's a realistic, first-person, simulated experience of productive economic life. It offers drama, suspense and understandable complexity that drives interest, excitement and the desire to improve. It plays like a story of ones' economic life, allowing creativity, self-expression, independence and freedom of moves not normally found in most games. Performance is tracked over time using its $IQ (Money-IQ feature. And as a tool, it has some uses and benefits.
What is one specific example of a player benefiting?
About a 14-15 year-old had "learning difficulties": When his class played BUX, he played like a genius. (The counselor was amazed.) When I asked to see the newly discovered star after the session, he responded nervously, "I wasn't cheating." After, I asked him how he played so brilliantly when I heard he was having difficulty in school. His instant reply was, "This is fun. That's work." I think he heard himself and how ridiculous that sounded. Two weeks later, the counselor called to say that that student had requested help filling out an application for extra tutoring. Last seen, he graduated from college majoring in computer science. He's now programming a game app. [No scientific proof of connection.]
(The record tournament scorer- 11,690, then a teenager is now a successful, master resource manager. [Again, anecdotal with no scientific proof.])
What is one example of this game bringing more clarity (to understanding)?
According to the media and experts, income inequality is one of the major contributing factors to poverty and sluggish economic growth. But little is said about solutions.
Ask any experienced BUX player of any age, and they can tell you what must be done to earn more money to raise their $IQ. They'll say that you need a strategy to be successful (i.e., make enough money to win the game) and to do that requires effort and risk putting together resources in ways that create more value to sell for more money. And that making more income is an individually self-driven (bottom-up) process. But to do this, one must know the rules to allow for the interpretation of the process and its personal meaning to them as an individual.
(Real-world fairness is another thing.)