Hyperinflation Game: The power in “Playing”
Updated: 5 hours ago
For some years now, game-based learning has played an essential role in education. As a student, I recognise that what students really want is to learn more interactively and engagingly.
Playing embeds the use of many skills that other ways of learning, such as sitting passively in a room to listen (like happens in a traditional lecture), does not.
Solving a given problem through a table or "board game" in a friendly and playful manner is very constructive. The players share their own experiences and reflections when listening to their peers' experiences. The result, genuine and long-lasting learning. What I really like about such an approach is its potential to empower students to think critically and provide the tools to overcome life struggles.
With this I mind, I set about creating the 'Venezuelan's hyperinflation game'. I gratefully acknowledge ARU Alumni Rafael Araujo and Prof Neil Stott's help designing and delivering the hyperinflation game workshops.
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About the game
The game is an interactive crash course on the principles behind the crisis. Its purpose is to demonstrate how hyperinflation works and what has caused it in Venezuela and provide a space for students to reflect on the consequences that are unleashed by poor management of a nation's economic policies.
Through a play-role, participants use real 'Bolivares' (Venezuelan bills) and budget lists to experience the daily life decisions that many Venezuelans make to navigate hyperinflation - through the high prices and shortage of goods and services.
In his/her role, the instructor gives students a quick and fundamental background of characteristics that pull inflation up and an insight in concept such as hyperinflation, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among others.
There are 4 rounds of 5 minutes each that keeps students active in their decision making, such as how hyperinflation works in real life. During this 20 minutes, students are taken through rounds entitled "2010 Prosperity-year"; 2015 Hig inflation-year"; 2017 Hyperinflation-year"; until -today- where students are pushed to make the use of bartering as an alternative of exchange to survive within the critical economic situation of the country.
The game can be used in 'principles of' and intermediate macroeconomics courses, university open days and fresher fairs. This game can allow any high education student to participate in the activity - even without academic knowledge of economics because its language may be comprehensible to all.
It will enrich attendees' international, economic, political and socio-cultural knowledge.
The desirable number of students in a classroom is between 10-24 and two instructors. In a class of more than 24 participants, the instructors might want to arrange for an extra assistant to support circulating around the classroom, to provide individual help to any who remain confused. It takes approximately 40 minutes to run, plus a 20 minutes Q&A session for students who want to dig deeper into the topic or just use that time for reflections. No computers are required to run this game.