GAME ON !

Abstract:

Management games, otherwise known as business simulation games or tycoon games is the latest trend in the market to captivate young entrepreneurs and MBA aspirants

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All work and no play makes jack a dull boy, this clichéd colloquial proverb cannot be more true in the case of new-age spin to the otherwise mundane management studies. Management studies and fun? One might wonder, but with the latest swanky gaming techniques that has been introduced to teach serious business and corporate sense to newbie is testimony of this practice. The idea is to learn a thing or two about the fundamental business and to couple with a generous dose of fun. A complete genre in itself these games are revolutionizing the way business studies are perceived. For a generation that is addicted to gaming and glued to their play station, this mode of learning is refreshing, promising and thoroughly foolproof. Learning was never this fun, interactive, modern and proactive. Though on a minuscule scale, there are few protestors of this notion who believe that these management games like the others of its kind can get addictive and becoming painfully time consuming. However, while the believers and haters of this new-age notion battle it out, let’s steal a sneak peak into the top ten management games in the market right now:

1. SimCity

One of the most popular ones of the lot, with numerous updates and many a version later it is still considered to be one of the first games that was qualified to be part of the management games genre. It is classic video game with its latest version – Sim City 4 flaunting 3D pictures and increased options. The game is about building a city up from scratch and gives the player a free hand and option to come up with the entire concept of building this dream city.

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The features that needs to be planned and executed varies from landscaping parks, running electricity and utility line, building a co-operative society, overcoming roadblocks and all this while working under a rigid budget. The player is in control of every details and decisions made in or for the city. The management quotient and business take away from this game for its players is the fact that the tricks and gaming technique of this game teaches humility, strategy-making techniques, decision-making skills and crisis management lesson.

2. The Patrician series

Though fairly recent and not as popular as SimCity, the games from the Patrician series, especially the third installment of the game has become a popular option among management gamers worldwide. Of These games revolve around the concept trading set in a historic era. The players assumes the role of a trader or a merchant expected to accumulate money, goods, capital, land, building and hence further his profits and simultaneously his/her business and career both in their hometown as well as in foreign land through acquisition. Players also have the options of building public stations, personal houses, industries, take up a career in politics and interact or collaborate with characters such as politicians, pirates or burglers. Extensive usage of demand and supply strategies, trading techniques, advanced business planning methods and consumer satisfaction method gives the player an impactful insight into all these essential management lessons. The ultimate goal of the game is to reign as the elected leader of the Hanseatic League, which isn’t an easy feat to achieve, a player as to practice various leadership skills and qualities to get the crown.

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3. Profitania

Considered as one of the most advanced business stimulation games, Profitania is a vibrant new – age game where the aim is to build a functional manufacturing empire. The idea is to eventually become a industrial tycoon, starting with buying and selling best priced and quality goods at the commodity exchange unit while the prices of the goods fluctuate according to the real time market.

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The game was designed by its makers as the final part of their business simulation games series and is targeted for higher level students with expert gaming skills. For amateurs, Profitania might not be the best option to start with. With intricate details and a game structure that is more complex and trickier of the lot, it is definitely a mind boggling game for those students who like a tough challenge to crack. For the players who take up a liking for this game, deemed as the most challenging game in it series, the ultimate business and leadership lessons is in store every step of the way.

4. Virtonomics

This game flooded the market about seven years and has gone from strength to strength and increased in popularity with every version. Along with providing intellectual entertainment, it also provides a solid business to business platform to face and decode obstacles of both small and large businesses in general. The goal of the game for the player is to be a successful businessman who creates profitable and effective business with the help of standard capital provided to each participant at the starting of the game. The players are free to choose the nature of their business according to their fancy, it can anything from a retail chain to a manufacturing unit or agricultural venture. In the process of playing the game, the player learns to make administrative decisions and gets can option to perform on various verticals of business. the players learns the art of management by the means of employing worker, fishing for partners, making business agreement, building branches, expanding through clients, buying equipments and the likes.

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5. Industry Player

This business simulation game also has a web server version known as Industry Masters. With multi-player options, Industry Player is one of the most new-age and advanced game in its lot. The game is based on real world economy and thus the lessons learnt are extremely apt and textbook real. Each player acts as an entrepreneur competing to acquire dominance on the market and tussle for shareholder value in real time.

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This game lets business students, corporate professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs to tailor a successful and full-fledged corporate organization. The players can choose to play individually or in groups and also opt to get evaluated for their corporate skills. With real corporate accounting system, debriefing features, industry analysis tools, and corporate handling, this game is as real as it gets. Industry Player lets its participants to take part or run a business without the real-life risks and speculations. It simulates very possible aspect of entrepreneurship – ranging from accounting, investment, finance, and interaction with competitors, consumers, banks, authorities and even the environment.

6. Capitalism

Deemed as the best version of real world economics, the game version is so close to reality that many professors of premier league B-school use it in their classrooms as a teaching aid. The games includes every aspect necessary – right from resource extractions, marketing to mass manufacturing. Being a hardcore business game that deals with extensive business details, it is options considered as a boring option as compared to other games in its genre. The aim of the business is to run a whole industry or small business and maximize profit in the business of your choice by the means of manufacturing products and subsequently selling them, all this while maintaining the supply and demand chain. With the stock market and competitors putting up a tough fight the player has to expand their business carefully without bursting any bubble. The latest version in this series is Captialism II, this installment has lot more options for the player. With the last update released over a decade ago, the game could really use a modern makeover, given the stiff new-age competition.

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7. Gazillionaire

This is a business simulation game for amateurs and beginners. Unlike what the name of the game suggest, Gazillionaire, the game is set in outer space, it is facilitates lot of fictional assumptions. The idea of the game for the player is to pilot a trade ship across space, while buying and selling consumer goods at a high profit margin. The player who has accumulated the maximum amount of wealth wins the game. Players are given the opportunity to make various business decisions, starting with simpler concepts and eventually leading for up to multilevel complex concepts. With customizable options, Gazillionaire has numerous challenges like the task to juggle taxes, hiring a crew, branding, advertising and stock market investment. The game introduces the theory of fiscal responsibility and business management. Along with other business facets, the concept of risk management and quick also gets honed in the process of playing this game. Off the entire course of the game, most of the time and concentration of the player will be spent reading and learning charts and graphs and subsequently applying that data to make profitable yet informed business decision.

8. Zapitalism

Released for Windows in 1997 Zapitalism, this fun fantasy business simulation game is multiplayer "the concept of risk management and quick also gets honed in the process of playing this game." game of business strategy. Applauded for its beautifully rendered graphic images, Zaptialism is of one the most popular and widely played game in its genre.

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The concept of this game is to take a small retail store and to turn it into a business empire. The game is to based in an island called Zapinalia, where the player has to deal with its eccentric inhabitants and buy and sell goods, build their stock and bonds, conquer the market and construct megastores. The player who succeeds in building the first retail empire wins the game. This turn based game also has an added option where the player can venture out in the island to explore Archipelago of Mermadan in the look out of treasure and mysterious relics. The player is expected to not only build s successful empire but also stock the best quality products, allot the right prices and make a remarkable profit. Each player gets their respective turns, and once everyone has played their turn the game moves on to the next week.

9. Air Bucks

Released in 1993, Air Bucks as a business simulation game received mixed reviews initially. It is the first game in this genre that deals with running a airline. The rules and plot of the games involves purchasing land rights for the airlines for cities around the globe. The game provides as in-depth insight into the functionality of an airline and all the hurdles involved running the said airline. The timeline of Air Bucks starts from 1946, right after World War II. The player is the founder and manager of the airline and thus is responsible for the purchasing of planes, designation of airline routes and choosing airline slots. The player is expected to accomplish the entire above task with the start up money of $100,000.

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As the game progresses the competition increases and the player is faced with real world events, new and tougher competitions either from humans or computers, new plane stock, worker strikes and protests, seat pricing wars and the like which makes the game very tough and challenging. Though the game is said to have numerous flaws it is still considered to be the game that comes the closest to its real venture.

10. Railroad Tycoon series

One of the most popular game from the Tycoon series business simulation games, it was initially known as Sid Meier’s Railroad Tycoon. The first version of the game had a very basic interface with flat surfaces and black rectangles that would go over grid like line where the participant is expected to build a rail empire from scratch. The next version of the game however is a big leap into the future with various technological facets involved like tunnels, bridges, stock market, difference in elevation and improved competition. The latest however is considered the best installment so far with complete 3 dimensional imaging. The games promises to enhance the management skills of the player in general as well time management techniques as the game of building a railway company is set against a time limit. The main objective of this game is for the players to construct and manage a railroad company by the means of laying rail tracks, building stations, purchasing and timely scheduling trains. The makers of this game claim that there is no dull moment, as the game is fast paced and engrosses you business skills. Managerial skills are put to task as various business related decisions are expected to be made at crucial junctions.

BUDDING MANAGERS
SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE


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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Tuesday, 23 September, 2014 - 11:53

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