As you may know, an Aboriginal Business gaming simulation is being developed and will be unveiled to coincide with the launch of the In.Business program (Eastern Region). The Purdy Crawford Chair team got together yesterday for some beta testing of the game in an effort work out the remaining “bugs” prior to it being coded for Android and iPhone. I was quickly reminded of the harsh realities of the business world. We played for about an hour, and due to my lack of discipline with financing, I was bankrupt before the hour was out. The game, “Music Mogul,” will see players manage operations of various Aboriginal bands in a simulated format. Players will be responsible for managing financing, advertising, merchandising, event planning, etc. for bands such as “A Tribe Called Red.”
I have been involved in the game since the beginning, but this is the first time I got a chance to play it. I started with a few thousand in the bank (known as First Bank of Unama’ki) and I began with a tour through Nova Scotia. This tour did not go very well (I assume) because I didn’t do any advertising. As a result, in planning for my tour of Manitoba, I purchased $2000 worth of print ads, along with $7500 worth of new equipment. I got one loan for the advertising, and another for the equipment, and I headed for Manitoba. As you can imagine, it’s very expensive to transport an entire band and all of its equipment to Manitoba. When I arrived back in my home town of Eskasoni (chosen from various options), I did not have enough money to play anywhere accept for my home community. In fact, I could barely afford to make the weekly payments on the two loans I already had. I was very interested in finding out how realistic the game is (and didn’t have many options left), so I decided to take out a third loan for $5000. I then embarked on a tour through New Brunswick and Newfoundland. I had high hopes for this trip and, as a result, spent a considerable amount on advertising and merchandise (t-shirts, posters, cds). This tour did not go very well either, and I arrived back in Eskasoni with only a few hundred left in the bank. The end of that week I was required to make $800 in loan payments, and I only had $650 left in the bank. I tried to take out another loan, but the game will not allow anyone to take out more than three loans. As a result, it was game over for me – an error message came up on the screen that I had gone bankrupt. I had mixed feelings when I saw this message come up on the screen. The competitive side of me was terribly disappointed that I had gone bankrupt – especially considering my coworkers were fairing out much better than I was. However, the teacher in me was thrilled! This was another sign of how realistic the game is (hats off to Revolve for all their hard work!). Banks should not be loaning more money to businesses that can barely make the payments they already have. This is one of the many lessons that can and will be learned by those that play the game.
The goal of this game is to educate Aboriginal youth about the many aspects of running a business. In order to generate and maintain interest, the game must be fun for youth to play. After spending some time with the game, I am confident that Music Mogul will be both fun and educational for students from coast to coast to coast!