Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Business Simulation Games

The process of starting and running a small business is a complex task suitable for simulation by board or online games. The players seek a desired change of state (no business to profitable business) by following a specific set of tasks. The environment includes competition and risk, and is an area that is relevent and interesting to many individuals.

The Johnny Money Game is presented by The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation to introduce 14-18 year olds to the day-to-day functions of an small business owner.

The simulation can be played individually, or as a class project with teacher instruction and facilitation. The game's length is a minimum of 45 minutes which covers a two-year period. Game hosts, Johnny and Jenny Money offer advice to players throughout the course of the game.

Players can choose between two retail businesses, and make decisions about securing funding, managing employees, and marketing. The game is well documented and guides teachers in the use of the game in the classroom or as an out-of-class assignment.

For younger teens, this game appears to be a high-quality introduction to the concepts of entrepreneurial business. I think the older teens might be put off by the Barbie Doll-like characters and cartoon illustrations. The Home Page/Registration page describes the game for "Young Entrepreneurs" in some circles, this means under 40 years of age. I think a little more information on the home page would be helpful. Otherwise, I was quite impressed by this site.

-Barbara Berkovich


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