You're in the Chips

Becky Benoit
Bill Jaynes
Marcella Harkness
Ed Nolan

Instructional Objective The learner will be able to determine the effects of major events on investments.

Learners/Context The learners are students in an adult education course such as might be offered at the Learning Annex. They will learn how investments are affected by various political, environmental, world, and historical events. This board game is designed to be both entertaining and educational.

The process of playing the game is more important than the actual monetary gain or loss at the end of the game. The player will look at the events and make predictions based on possible outcomes.

Rationale The material will be useful because the learner will become more knowledgeable about investments and the decisions required to make various types of investments.

A board game is useful because it offers a fun way for people to learn about the financial markets. Playing as a group is beneficial because one can learn from investments others have made in the game.

Overview The game has the following features:

1. It will accommodate up to four players.

2. One board with a Start and Finish space on the same end of the board. There are numerous hexagonal spaces that represent various investment choices. These spaces form an oblong loop around the board.

3. Four pieces of different colors to move around the board.

4. One die with six sides.

5. Colored chips worth the following: 40 Blues, $10,000; 20 Reds, $5,000; 20 Greens, $1,000; and 20 Yellows, $100.

6. Event cards that provide two investment variables. The first is a statement that gives a plausible but general event that would have an impact on different investments. The card also states what type of an investment climate exists. Each player uses the information on these cards to determine his/her investment choices.

7. An Investment Results sheet to determine how each player's investments faired. This sheet states how much each investment category has increased or decreased.

8. $10,000 certificates for each of the investment choices.

Object of the Game Given various world events and investment climates, a player will be able to make profitable investment decisions as determined by his/her earnings at game end.

The player with the most chips at the end of the game wins.

Set Up 1. Choose one player to act as the Broker/Dealer. This person may also play the game.

2. There are Event cards and Economic Climate charts. The Event Cards contain statements that give plausible but general events that would have an impact on different investments. The Economic Climate chart states what type of an investment climate exists, as follows: #1 is an inflationary market; #2 is a recessionary market; #3 is a Bull market; and #4 is a Bear market. Each player uses the information on these cards to determine his/her investment choices. The Broker/Dealer rolls the die to determine the beginning economic climate.

3. There are four sets of chips with the following colors and values: 40 Blues, $10,000; 20 Reds, $5,000; 20 Greens, $1,000; and 20 Yellows, $100. The Broker/Dealer distributes $100,000 in chips to each player before the start of the game, handles the exchange of chips during the game, and turns over the Event cards. The rest of the chips remain in the bank managed by the Broker/Dealer.

4. The Broker/Dealer also is in charge of the Investment Results sheet, which determines how much each investment category has increased or decreased.

5. Each player selects a colored game piece to move on the board, and puts it on Start.

How to Begin Play 1. An Event card is turned face up on the board.

2. Each player rolls the die. The player with the highest number begins play by rolling first.

3. The starting player rolls and moves the indicated number of spaces along the oblong loop.

4. There will be several possible investment choices available. The player can land on a hexagon with either a stock, mutual fund, or bond symbol. The player then decides if and how much he/she wants to invest in that opportunity based on the situation and investment climate stated on the Event card. The Broker/Dealer gives the player his/her certificate(s), and the player places the number of investment chips on the certificate(s).

5. Investments must be made in increments of $10,000. A player may invest from $10,000 to $100,000 in any one investment. After the transaction has been made with the Broker/Dealer, play continues to the player on the left.

6. Once a player acquires an investment, when it is that player's turn again he/she can decide to sell all or part of that investment to another player. If no player wants to buy, then the Broker/Dealer must execute the transaction for the bank. The transfer of chips and certificate(s) is handled by the Broker/Dealer.

7. If a player rolls a six, a new Event card is turned up. The Broker/Dealer determines from the Investment Results sheet whether the investments made so far have increased, decreased, broken even, or there is a change in the economic climate. Player places chips on top of certificates to represent their current value. If player takes a loss, he/she pays the amount lost to the Broker/Dealer who deposits the money in the bank.

8. Play then continues to the next player who rolls the die. This process continues until the players get to the Finish.

9. The Broker/Dealer determines each player's final success based on the Investment Results sheet. The player with the highest value of chips wins.

10. The game may be played as one round or a number of rounds.

Design Process Our first design failed. We had envisioned playing the game in a chronological fashion hoping to teach the player about economic history. We also considered using real stocks and actual historical facts and quotes from the stocks. After much deliberation, we decided that this approach was too cumbersome and rather boring.

Our new design was structured so that the player would learn how different events may affect certain segments of the stock market and other financial vehicles as well. As a result, we decided on the Broker/Dealer concept because we needed one player to handle the cards, certificates, and chip exchanges.

Board Design