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Trading floor serious game


Learning objectives
1. To understand the functioning of different exchange/monetary systems.
2. To comprehend the links among exchange/monetary systems, and
economic systems, and social systems.
3. Eventually,
to
appreciate
the
role
of
images/symbols/values/materials of the coins/monies.

the

different

Game objective and general rules


The objective is to obtain as many meals as possible. Meals are symbol of a
decent life, by the production of food for us and for the others. The player who
obtains the maximum number of meals will be awarded.
Each player starts with 4 mixed raw material cards from the shuffled raw
material card set. Players exchange raw material cards to make sets of 4
identical cards (E.g. a set of 4 apples). Players define them-selves the
prices/exchange rates, as prices are freely fixed by players. Each set of 4
identical cards is exchanged by (or under the supervision of) the Dealer for 4
new mixed raw material cards and one meal. The meals are kept by the players
till the end of the play (also in case of the virtual death of the player and even
if the player is virtually jailed).
Each play has specific rules for the exchange of the raw material cards
between players. The players, who do not respect the specific rules, are judged
by the Dealer, the Accountant or the Speaker as criminals and the players are
virtually jailed till the end of the play.
Timing:

Time to launch the Trading Floor game: 10 minutes.

Time to launch a play/variation: 10 minutes.

Net time of real play/variation: 10 minutes.

Time to close a play/variation: 10 minutes.

Time to close the Trading Floor game: 10 minutes.

The game is particularly interesting when there is the possibility to compare


different systems. The minimum proposal is to run 2 plays/variations in 1 hour
20 minutes. The best proposal is to run the 5 plays in 2 hours 50 minutes.
A play has 4 rounds. A round lasts 2 minutes 30 seconds. 1 minute of play
equals 10 years of real life, hence a 10 minute play equals to 100 years. The
life expectancy of the players is 100 years and every player virtually dies when
the player is 100 years old. The player keeps the won meals as they are a
collective output of a decent life, not a strictly individual one. Each player has a
different starting age: a player can be 20, 40, 60 or 80 years old at the
beginning of the play. The age of the players in different plays/variations
changes in order to let everyone experience the virtual death in a different
moment of the play. See the specific spreadsheet Trading Floor for Students
for the starting age for each play.
At the beginning of each play:

the Speaker explains the specific rules of the play/variation

the Dealer distribute the cards (4 mixed cards for each player) and the
complementary appropriate means of exchange, specific for each
variation.

The Accountant shows the specific spreadsheet of the starting age for
each player

At the end of each round:

The Dealer receives back the cards from the dying people who are 100
years old. These players keep the won meals. These players restart the
play as a new born.

The Dealer gives to the new born 4 new mixed cards.

At the end of each play:

The Speaker asks: How did you feel the exchanges and the play in
general?

The Dealer collects all the cards

The Accountant fills the spreadsheet about the meals won. The
Accountant identify the winners (the ones with the highest number of
meals won). The winners receive an award.

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At the end of the sequence of plays:

The Speaker asks: Which exchange/monetary system do you prefer and


why? Did you perceive any difference in the economic system of meal
production? Could this difference being influenced by the monetary
system? Did you perceive any difference in the social system of human
relationships? Could this difference being influenced by the monetary
system?

The Accountant shows the results of the different plays in terms


Economic efficiency index (SumOfMeals/PlayingTime/NumberOfPlayers
ratio)
and
Social
equity
index
(StandardDeviationOfMeals/PlayingTime/NumberOfPlayers ratio).

Requirements
Facilitators:
1. Speaker in charge of explaining the rules
2. Accountant in charge of the spreadsheet and countdown/timer
3. Dealer in charge of the distribution and collection of the cards
Number of students:

Minimum: 10 students otherwise the market/exchange does not reach


the critical mass to be effective

Maximum: 40 students otherwise the material and facilitators are not


enough

Room:
A serious game room or a room with mobile desks and chairs.
Time required:
3 hours for experimenting
exchange/monetary system.

at

least

different

variations

of

the

Printed material:

A number of sets of 5 equals cards of raw material, equal to the number


of players. Example for 40 players= 40 sets of 5 equals cards of raw
material.

Debt-money cards, 10 times the number of players. Example for 40


players: (40*10)= 400.

Commodity money cards, 10 times the number of players. Example for


40 players: (40*10)= 400. Commodity money is proposed as Beaver pelts
cards and Cacao beans cards. Beaver pelts was effectively used in North
America,
and
Cacao
beans
in
South
America
(see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_money). The choice would allows
to appreciate the role of the different images/symbols/values/material of
the coins/monies.

Relativity Theory Universal dividend cards, 20 times the number of


players. Example for 40 players: (40*20)= 800.

Depreciating Universal dividend cards, equal to the number of players by


the number of rounds for the complete devaluation plus 1. Example for
40
players
and
for
2
rounds
for
the
complete
devaluation=40*(2+1)=120.

Meal cards, symbol of decent life, twice the number of players by the
number of minutes of each play. Example for 40 players and for 10
minutes of play: (2*40*10)= 800.

Mutual credit wallet cards, equal to the number of players. Example for
40 players=40.

3 labels for the 3 different baskets, (1) for collecting cards (2) for
distributing mixed cards, (3) for meals.

Electronic material:

Trading floor spreadsheet for Accountant

Trading floor spreadsheet for Students

Countdown timer, for keeping the time of the play. Example available at
http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/create

Physical material:

Paper clips, equal to the number of players, to register the debt and
credit on the mutual credit wallet. Example for 40 players=40.

Basket for collecting the sets of 4 identical cards and the cards of the
virtually dying players. These cards are shuffled and put in the basket for
4 new mixed cards.

Basket for 4 new mixed cards. 4 cards are picked up by the player after
discarding the set of 4 identical cards and winning a meal and for the
virtually new born players.

Basket of meals. The player, who has discarded the set of 4 identical
cards in the basket of discarded cards, can take one meal.

Final award for the winners of each play.

Teaching material
Trading floor Slides

Original web site of the Trading Floor canvas


http://www.valeureux.org/blog/les-jeux/jeu-la-corbeille/

Licence
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode

Author of this version


Claudio Vitari, Grenoble Ecole de Management

Credits for images


All cliparts are released into the public domain except:
Cacao beans by Everjean: https://www.flickr.com/photos/evert-jan/
Mutual credit wallet by Valeureux: http://www.valeureux.org/blog/wpcontent/uploads/2013/07/La-Corbeil-cre%CC%81dit-mutuel-5.jpg
Beaver
Pelt
by
Mickey
Bohnacker
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castor_fiber_canadensis_(Canadian_bea
ver)_fur_skin_(cut).jpg#/media/File:Castor_fiber_canadensis_(Canadian_beaver)
_fur_skin_(cut).jpg

Plays/variations and specific rules for each


play/variation

Bartering play/variation
The Speaker tells that the players have to find double reciprocity to exchange
cards. Players may only accept cards matching a card they already have. The
players cannot help each other by doing exchanges which benefit one
participant only.

Mutual credit play/variation


The Speaker explains that players record each exchange by a credit on sellers
wallet and a debt on buyers wallet, up to max 5 credit units and down to max
5 debt units. The exchange rate between cards and credit/debt units is freely
defined by the counterparts.
Inheritance: the dying people have to reach back the equilibrium (Zero) of their
mutual credit wallet, before giving them back to the Dealer.
New born: the new players start as young people with a new mutual credit
wallet at zero.
The Dealer distributes 1 mutual credit wallet per player.

Commodity (cocoa) Money play/variation


Cacao bean is the currency. The Speaker tells that the unequal distribution of
the cocoa-beans among the players is based on the unfair life existing today.
The proposed money unequal distribution is around the 0.5 Gini index. The sum
of the distributed cocoa-beans is equal to the number of players and between 3
cocoa-beans to 0 cocoa-beans. It means that out of 40 students: 14 students
will not receive any cocoa-bean; 14 students will receive 1 cocoa-bean, 10
students will receive 2 cocoa-beans, 2 students will receive 3 cocoa-beans. A
possible distribution is given in the Accountant spreadsheet.
Players have to buy and sell cards using their cocoa-beans.
At each round a random event could occur to any participant.
10% chance to decompose the cocoa-beans
10% chance to find a new cocoa tree
Inheritance: the dying people can give their cocoa-beans to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people without cocoa-beans.
The Dealer distributes cocoa-beans.
The Accountant, at each round, tests for the random events.

10

Commodity
play/variation

(beaver

pelt)

Money

Beaver pelt is the currency. The Speaker tells that the unequal distribution of
the beaver-pelt among the players is based on the unfair life existing today.
The proposed money unequal distribution is around the 0.5 Gini index. The sum
of the distributed beaver-pelts is equal to the number of players and between 3
cocoa-beans to 0 beaver-pelts. It means that out of 40 students: 14 students
will not receive any beaver-pelt; 14 students will receive 1 beaver-pelt, 10
students will receive 2 beaver-pelts, 2 students will receive 3 beaver-pelts. A
possible distribution is given in the Accountant spreadsheet.
Players have to buy and sell cards using their beaver-pelts.
At each round a random event could occur to any participant.
10% chance to decompose the beaver-pelts
10% chance to catch a new beaver
Inheritance: the dying people can give their beaver-pelts to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people without beaver-pelts.
The Dealer distributes beaver-pelts.
The Accountant, at each round, tests for the random events.

11

Money as debt variation


The Speaker tells that the unequal distribution of the money among the
players is based on the unfair life existing today.
The proposed money unequal distribution is around the 0.5 Gini index. The sum
of the distributed coins is equal to the number of players and between 3 coins
to 0 coins. It means that out of 40 students: 14 students will not receive any
coin; 14 students will receive 1 coin, 10 students will receive 2 coins, 2
students will receive 3 coins. A possible distribution is given in the Accountant
spreadsheet.
Players have to buy and sell cards using their coins.
The Speaker invites players to ask for loans to the bank. Players can borrow
coins. They can borrow 2, 4 or 6 coins. The interest rate is of 2.5%/year and the
loan is for 20 years exclusively, no shorter, no longer. As a consequence, when
they borrow 2 coins they will give back 3 coins in the following round. When
they borrow 4 coins they will give back 6 coins in the following round. When
they borrow 6 coins they will give back 9 coins in the following round. The bank
does not lend coins to the 80 years old players, because the risk is too high of
not being paid back.
Inheritance: the dying people can give their money to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people without money.
The Dealer distributes coins.
The Accountant, at each round, gives loans, calls in debts, excludes bankrupt
debtors (who go to jail and they do not play any more) and fills the Trading floor
spreadsheet.

12

Relativity theory dividend variation


The Speaker explains that the players will receive an incremental Universal
Dividend (UD) is distributed at each round. 1 UD at the first round, 2 UD at the
second round, 3 UD at the third round, 4 UD at the fourth round, 5 UD at the
fifth round, 6 UD at the six at the sixth round......
The Accountant shows the specific spreadsheet of the starting age for each
play.
Inheritance: the dying people can give their dividend to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people. The new players will receive
the new UD as all the other players.
At the beginning of each round:
The Dealer distributes to each player the UD.

13

Depreciating dividend variation


The Speaker explains that the players will receive a depreciating Universal
Dividend (UD) at each round. The universal dividend relatively depreciates at
each round. To recognize the depreciation, at every round, the Dealer
distributes a new depreciating universal dividend but of a different color. See
the relative depreciation table directly on the depreciating universal dividend to
keep in mind the dividend value.
The Accountant shows the specific spreadsheet of the starting age for each
play.
Inheritance: the dying people can give their dividend to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people. The new players will receive
the new UD as all the other players.
At the beginning of each round:
The Dealer distributes to each player the UD.

14

Bank as Trader variation


The Speaker tells that the unequal distribution of the money among the
players is based on the unfair life existing today.
The proposed money unequal distribution is around the 0.5 Gini index. The sum
of the distributed coins is equal to the number of players and between 3 coins
to 0 coins. It means that out of 40 students: 14 students will not receive any
coin; 14 students will receive 1 coin, 10 students will receive 2 coins, 2
students will receive 3 coins. A possible distribution is given in the Accountant
spreadsheet.
Players have to buy and sell cards using their coins.
Inheritance: the dying people can give their money to someone else.
New born: the new players start as young people without money.
The Dealer distributes coins.
The Accountant plays the role of banker-trader. The banker-trader has
unlimited amount of money. He can buy and sell cards with that money in order
as all the other plays to win meals.

15

Basket of discarded cards (sets of 4


and for dying people)

16

Basket for 4 new mixed cards (after


winning a meal and for new born)

17

Basket of meals (Take one meal


when you depose a set of 4 in the
basket of discarded cards)

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