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Subject: Naming an Economic Boardgames Class for 6th-8th Graders: GG Reward rss

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Joe Wasserman
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I don't think he would like that.
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I teach a class for 6th-8th graders that focuses on board games and economic principles therein. Mostly they play games, I ask them about what they're doing and why, and they discuss the game in terms of what worked and what didn't. Occasionally I'll introduce an economic principle (e.g. supply-and-demand, opportunity cost) and connect it to something that a student just said. Then I'll start incorporating that concept into my questions, and hopefully they'll start using it (or at least thinking about it). We play at the very least Catan. Depending on the particular group of students, we might play only that, or move onto Power Grid, Wealth of Nations, or Container (that hasn't actually happened yet).

So my problem is this: the organization I work for that organizes these classes named it Money Math without my input. shake

That's a horrible name! The games are directly about neither money nor math, and how boring.

So what are some better class titles that are both a) accurately descriptive and b) exciting to students?

I've been struggling with that, mostly coming up with things like "Board Games and Economics," which isn't very exciting, either...

I'll give 10 to whoever comes up with the name that I propose my organization use!
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Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
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Dollars and Sense
The Big Board
Playing the Numbers



(I teach a personal finance class and a game design class to middle school students. Good luck!
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David Perez
United States
Hillsboro
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MEEPLECONOMICS 101
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Victor Frandsen
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games and the real world
games' impact on everyday life
games for life
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Chris Barnard
United Kingdom
Tadcaster
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All aboard the 'B' Ark! Priority boarding for bankers and HR staff!
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Boardroom Games
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Rick Weckermann
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Mean Money Machines
Mean Money Munchers
That way they are M M M good.
Can take the Mean out and you have M & M's
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C. B. Green
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I confess, this is tough.

I don't think you want to use the word "board," simply because it sounds like "bored," and that's the last association you want.

I like "Playing the Numbers", but that makes it sound like a class about gambling. (Which may be true at the bottom of things, but again, probably not the association you want.) The same is true of something like "Playing the Market," which makes it sound like a class about investing. A lot of our most useful words already have established (and unhelpful) meanings in this context.

I will concur: "Money Math" is horrible. No one would take that course.

Here's my pitch:
Economics is a Game

Now, it's not perfect. It's not catchy or alliterative, and it's more of a complete thought than most titles are. But I think it's a fundamentally interesting premise, one that most kids could grasp, but wouldn't arrive at on their own. (It also has the virtue of being kind of true.) Ungainly as it is, I'd read that title and think -- hmmm, I wonder what that class is about?

But I'll keep thinking about it. This is a nice challenge.
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C. B. Green
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Alternately, if you're feeling cute:
Supply and Catan
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Mark Brown
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How about:

Games Economists Play
Game Theory and Economics
Basics of Economics: Playing Games
Wood for Sheep

Acquire needs to be your second game. It's more fun and plays faster than those other games. Plus you can pick up older copies in good shape for much less than, say, multiple copies of Power Grid.
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Bob acus
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Illinois
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Gaming the System
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Glen Chandler
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Economics in a Box.
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Sue Hemberger

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Dist of Columbia
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Global Economic Domination for Beginners
Infinite Greed
The League of Young Plutocrats
The Mysterious Boardgaming Society

So does the name have to go on a transcript/look respectable or is it mainly functioning as a recruitment device for students?

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Jason Wallace
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6th Circle Nethermancer in Service of the Queen!
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Gaming to Learn
Playing Economics
Game and Economic Theory
The Money Game
Money Games
Learning Through Games
Financial Gaming
Put Your Money Where Your Game Is
Games and Money
Board of Economics?!
Financial Boardgames
Fun with Economics
Funny Money
Gamey Money
Playing with Money
Play to Learn Economics
Board Broke
Gaming the Stockmarket
Fiscal Gaming
Fiscal Games
Games of Fiscal Import
Fiscal Fun
Cash and Guns
Have Fun Managing Cash
Games with a Purpose
Money - Learn by Doing
Economics by the Games
Economics with Playmoney
Economics by the Dice Rolls
Gaming the Economy
The Economy's a Game
Monopoly Economy
Lessons from Monopoly
Lessons from Games
Fiscal Lessons from Games
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Mike E
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Poulsbo
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Market Games
Table Top Economics
or just use Wealth of Nations
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Erik Racer
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Urbandale
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Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad
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We are living our lives... Abound with so much information... Come on, let go of the remote,
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King of the Bill
Voodoo Economics
Economic Liberty
Spending Other People's Money (oh, wait, that would be a class about government)
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James Adrian
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This might be over their heads, but instead of using the economic term "laissez faire," meaning something like "hands off" or something, call it "hands on" in French, or basically the opposite of laissez faire. My abilities in French are lacking blush, so I don't know what that would be but that's the first thing that came to mind.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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"G.I.R.L.S. : Games In Real Life Systems"

Girls will attend because it's called "girls"
Guys will attend because it's about games and they might meet girls.
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Nate Straight

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airship51 wrote:

Acquire needs to be your second game. It's more fun and plays faster than those other games. Plus you can pick up older copies in good shape for much less than, say, multiple copies of Power Grid.


But teaches almost nothing about economics.

Container should be your first game.
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Nate Straight

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Stormtower wrote:
"G.I.R.L.S. : Games In Real Life Systems"

Girls will attend because it's called "girls"
Guys will attend because it's about games and they might meet girls.


This is brilliant on so many levels.
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Nate Straight

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My suggestion:

[The] Competitive Advantage

-or- Perfect Competition
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Mark Fowler
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Economics Made Fun: Play and Learn
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Randy Newnham
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Beyond Monopoly
Epiconomics
Epic Economics

or

Beyond Monopoly: Epic Economics

:)

Randy
Growing Up Gamers
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Joe Wasserman
United States
Morgantown
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I don't think he would like that.
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"A single action or event is interesting, not because it is explainable, but because it is true." - Goethe
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I went out to dinner, and what do I see when I came back? So many responses! Awesome! There are some good ones here, but I'll need to sit down when I have a little more time to pit them against each other in the Ultimate Contest for Semantic and Pragmatic Excellence. Of course, keep submitting ideas if you have 'em!

For future entries, keep in mind that most of my students won't be familiar with these board games, and won't know what "Catan" or a "meeple" is, so as punny as titles including those might be, they just can't work.

NateStraight wrote:
airship51 wrote:

Acquire needs to be your second game. It's more fun and plays faster than those other games. Plus you can pick up older copies in good shape for much less than, say, multiple copies of Power Grid.


But teaches almost nothing about economics.

Container should be your first game.


I've actually never gotten around to picking up Acquire, though I've been meaning to... As for Power Grid, I only need one copy, since I prefer to have students playing as teams of two no matter the game, which makes Power Grid hold up to 12 students---which is, incidentally, the cap on enrollment.

I wish we could start out with Container (and maybe even just keep playing it over and over!), but for students who have only played Monopoly, Risk, Stratego, and Clue, it's bit of a stretch for their introductory game...

smithhemb wrote:
So does the name have to go on a transcript/look respectable or is it mainly functioning as a recruitment device for students?


The title doesn't go on a transcript, so it's mostly a recruitment device targeted both at school administrators (who can choose to have the classes taught as during- or after-school enrichment) and students/parents (who choose whether to take the class when it's offered).

Stormtower wrote:
"G.I.R.L.S. : Games In Real Life Systems"

Girls will attend because it's called "girls"
Guys will attend because it's about games and they might meet girls.


When I first taught this class (before it was called "Money Math", I don't think it actually had a title), I think it was about 40/60 girls/boys, which was excellent! Not sure how the title would go over with the higher-ups, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable representing economics as a "real life system."
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Bill Plumley
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Borrowing from the above-mentioned GIRLS (which I think is brilliant...)

C.U.B.E.S.

Concise Understanding of Boardgame Economic Systems

Might as well let them know straight off the bat what they're going to find an abundance of in the game boxes...
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chris schott
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Play Money
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