What's this game about?
Would you like to see how you handle money and resources in an economic world? Players are competing on a level field (for once), using money and resources to make economic moves against economic forces. It's about discovering and developing productive hands-on economic skills.
What's the most important concept in this game?
Value- what something is worth. We're all trying to get resources to put together to increase value– which we can sell for money. So, it's value and the value of value. Recognizing opportunities to imagine, create, develop, protect and sell value at the right time makes you a good player. Having what it takes to build value in competition is your challenge.
What's fun and exciting about it?
Fun comes from the experience, interaction, surprises, suspense and excitement. You are in the latter stages of a tight game. You draw three cards. You need one of them. But your opponents need others– and want to prevent you from getting the card you need. It's a bidding war! The player who bids the highest gets all three cards and stands the best chance of winning. You're biting your nails as the bidding gets higher and higher. Do you stay in the bidding or chicken out? And even the highest bidder can lose (to everyone's laughter) since the game can suddenly end itself before that player can cash in on her investment.
What about an example of learning
Learning comes from experiencing economic reality, how you perform and discover your productive economic self. A young player, not familiar with the value of money, quickly spent all his money on useless cards. Within two rounds, the value of money and resources began to affect that players moves. He began to consider the value of value and only got more selective and to be a better player. (Not a word said.)
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 and not so much specific objects. Ideas commonly use symbols (such as X's, O's, lines, boxes and arrows) to represent other things and are not limited to pictures.
As a teacher/mentor, can I use this game as a tool?
Yes. This teacher/instructor/helper section is devoted to you. If you're playing just for fun, you don't need to do anything– but play.
Do I have to know anything about economics to play well?
No. And maybe it's best if you don't. If 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?
It's a realistic, first-person experience of productive economic life. It offers drama, suspense and understandable complexity that drives interest, excitement and the desire to do better. It plays like a story of ones' economic life, allowing creativity, self-expression, independence and freedom of moves not normally found in games. Its Personal Earning Index measures performance over time. And as a tool, it has numerous uses and benefits.
What is one specific example of a player benefiting?
Briefly: 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 school 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 Personal Earning Index. 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.
(Now real-world fairness is another thing.)