Teaching Arts Entrepreneurship: The Marble Game is On!

Games in the classroom, teaching Arts Entrepreneurship 

In Attracting Capital, the short title of a course taught in the minor of Arts

The Game Has Begun.

The Game Has Begun.

Entrepreneurship at Meadows School of the Arts, SMU, students are learning about the relativity of value and how one can consistently trade up in value without spending cash.

Bartering is an ancient practice,one of the most ancient practices in the history of business. People have always exchanged value with each other (like time, energy, skills or physical objects) before or in lieu of cash.

Value is relative. “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”, the old adage goes. To demonstrate how one can consistently increase value over time by trading up, students are engaging in a game I have called, “The Marble Game”. This game is based on Kyle MacDonald’s process of trading up from a single red paperclip through a number of well thought-out trades until he had eventually traded up for a house.

MacDonald began with a red paperclip. Our students are working with their marbles and they began this past Monday, September 9 and have been consistently trading up, to date.  For this game, each student has been given a single marble, an object that for most people they engage, will hold no value outside of perhaps the jogging of a childhood memory or an appreciation of the marble’s sparkle.

Students have been divided into pairs and each person given a marble so that they might divide and at times merge resources.

In last semester’s Attracting Capital class, one student, after one week’s time, brought back what the students estimated was $3,500 value in goods. It will be very interesting to see what these bright young students accomplish when they choose to gather and accumulate resources and assets, when then choose to do so.

At the conclusion of the game, students will present what they have exchanged for and amassed. They will present what they have gathered to the full class of students, at which time they will all vote to determine which pair has amassed the most value and what that cash value might be. The winners then gain the title of Champions of Trading and the knowledge that they won. The goods will then be donated to the area nonprofit of the students’ choice (voted upon by the full class) so that the assets can then be sold by the nonprofit for their cash value. With this process, students engage in an act of social good through their gathering of resources and redistribution of assets.

The game is going on and I will report again regarding developments.

Jim Hart

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3 Responses to Teaching Arts Entrepreneurship: The Marble Game is On!

  1. This is awesome! Looking forward to hearing your reports. Bravo!

  2. James Hart says:

    Note: This semester’s winner of the Marble Game’s story can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA-qTbp9s8A

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