April 2, 2007 Area Firm Uses Gaming to Discuss Globalism with Elementary Students
For the second year in a row, Allen Brook Elementary School in Williston, VT requested that Brandthropology help discuss globalism with its elementary students. The talks have became popular with the students, as a gaming format is used to inform students about their relative wealth of resources they enjoy compared to their global counterparts.
Participants are given tokens called global economic units with which they purchase their life needs including food, shelter, education and entertainment. Students must successfully make economic and social decisions based on the resources of a given world geography. The economic units they receive varies, in keeping with actual world data provided by the United Nations. “We were initially worried that the game would be too complex, but the kids got into it immediately” comments Chief Brandthropologist, Matt Dodds. “Game playing is a natural way to communicate complex concepts to children.” Admittedly, the game can by harsh at times, but that’s the point. Students have to roll dice in order to earn their right to play; the odds of their surviving to be able to play is based on childhood mortality data from the region they are playing in. Some kids “die” before they even get to play the game, which can be a bit of an eye opener for some.
Brandthropology is a Burlington Vermont based firm that helps Fortune 500 companies define and develop marketing strategies that embrace, rather than ignore, the world’s diverse developmental landscape. “We know first hand that Americans can be quite naive about the realities of the world. We’ve spent years studying consumer behavior in countries such as China, India & Indonesia, said Matthew Dodds, Chief Brandthropologist of Brandthropology. “This is our chance to pass along this knowledge to a younger generation. It’s one of the most satisfying things we do each year.”