What's this game about?
It's about you making more money by creating more economic value. It's the experience of using money and resources, following the rules of supply-demand economics, to make more money. It's about making moves to earn money against real economic forces– while playing on a level field. It's about your economic skills.
Is it fun and what's in it for me?
There's fun with learning. Fun from challenge, interaction, surprises and excitement. And learning from facing economic reality, what you can do and finding out more about yourself.
But it doesn't look like it has anything to do with economics or making money.
You're right. What's that supposed to look like? The reason it looks this way is because we're playing with ideas and concepts, not objects. Ideas commonly use symbols (like X's, O's, lines and arrows) and are not constrained by detailed pictures.
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 a good deal from a bad one. Special six year-olds have played competitively. They knew nothing about economics but appeared to be drawn to its logical complexity.
What makes this game different?
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. Playing like a story of your economic life, it allows creativity, self-expression, independence and freedom of moves not normally found in games. Its Personal Earning Index measures performance over time. As a tool, it has numerous uses and benefits.
A specific fun example?
One of many situations: Players want cards to make matching sets and to keep their opponents from getting them. So, when drawn cards are auctioned, players bid for different reasons. The drawer, who gets paid for the cards, may try to bid the price up to get more money from others. But if the drawer misjudges others and overbids, they can "dump" it on her forcing her to overpay for cards she may not want. ((Laughter)).
Any learning possibilities?
(OK. It's a set-up question.) Many would like to know exactly how to earn more money. So, this can be done quickly by using entertaining, interactive experiences to teach especially complex concepts. Just play, make a few game-life connections and apply the productive process.
What is one specific example of a player benefiting?
Briefly: A 12-13 year-old with learning difficulties in school. When his class played BUX, he played like a genius. (The counselor was amazed.) When I asked to see him 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 is 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 was at a college majoring in computer science. [No scientific proof of connection, but...]
(The record tournament scorer- 11,690, then a teenager is now very successful.
[Again, no scientific proof.])
What is one example of this game that brings more clarity?
Income inequality is one of the major contributing factors to poverty, but little is said about what to do about it.
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 some 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 meaning to individuals.
(Now fairness is another thing.)
As a teacher, how can I use this game to help my students?
Each student brings different attributes and has different needs and learns best in different ways and has different interests– and comes from different backgrounds. Normalizing students to be on the same page with similar points of view, status and descriptive vocabulary could be a helpful starting point. And since most are attracted to games, quick and efficient, game-based process could be a good tool to attract, interest and motivate them to appreciate resources which, of course, includes a better education.
If I'm not too good at this game, can I get better?
Yes. Keep playing to build your Personal Earning Index.