What's this game about?
In a word– you. In three words– you and money. It's about handling money and resources in an uncertain economic world. You're competing on a level field (for once), using money and resources to make economic moves against real economic forces. It's about your productive economic performance.
What's the most important concept in this game?
Value- what something is worth to those who need or want it. If you don't know the value of things, you're out of it. You're paying and trading to get resources to put together to increase value to exchange for more money. You're using your 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 for once, 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 your 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. If that ain't gut-bustin' excitement...
An example of learning?
It is said that experience is the best teacher. A little story: a young first-time player not familiar with the value of money, quickly spent all her money on useless cards. When asked why, she said, "Others were buying. She wanted to buy too." 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! It doesn't. But 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 often use symbols (such as X's, O's, lines, boxes and arrows) to represent things and how they work together.
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 kick-butt fun, stop reading and play.
Do I have to know anything about economics to play well?
No. And maybe it's best you don't. We're born with a sense for survival. We know good deals from bad ones. Special six year-olds have played. They knew nothing about economics.
Whats different about this game?
No B. S. No fluff. It's a realistic, first-person, simulated experience of productive economic life. It offers drama, suspense and logical complexity that drives interest and the desire to do better. It plays like a story of your 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 could have some uses and benefits.
What is one specific example of a player benefiting?
A 14-15 year-old had "learning difficulties": When his class played BUX, he played like a genius. (The counselor was shocked.) 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 proof of causation.])
What is one example of this game bringing clarity to understanding?
According to media experts, income inequality is a major contributor to poverty and sluggish economic growth. Yet, little is ever mentioned about solutions.
Ask any experienced BUX player of any age, and they can tell you what must be done in the game 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 meanings.
(Real-world fairness is another thing. The game shows how things should work.)