BIG Buck$$.

Author:Jones, Diane Sidwell
 
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BIG Buck$$, Other, 2000, The Learning Key, Inc., $2495.

If you are an experienced facilitator, you know how a game can provide sparks of energy to a classroom or meetings. Games are a natural format for team activities, supporting team spirit and cohesiveness, regardless of the topic. The subject matter of the Learning Key, Inc., BIG Buck$$ board game is targeted at bankers, and the overall board design demonstrates that fun is the general theme.

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BIG Buck$$ is one of several industry-related game offerings from Learning Key. The company also produces games for the pharmaceutical industry. They have applied their board game design and format to this new offering for bankers. The vendor suggests the following uses: new hire orientation, compliance training, icebreaker for department meetings, and team building.

The game comes with a game board, accessory bag, markers, rule cards, facilitator's guide, question cards, carrying tube, dice, question card holder, and timer. The facilitator's guide explains goals, trainer set-up, order of play, game pieces and rules, recommendations for customization, and suggested applications. The vendor provides phone or email support at no additional cost.

BIG Buck$$ is professionally packaged and smartly designed so a facilitator or leader can introduce it easily. The game can be played with two to four teams of up to four players per team. Participants can quickly pick up the framework of the game visually from the game board design.

Players move from the beginning square towards the center space of the board with a roll of the dice. With each roll, they must successfully answer industry questions to advance further. Questions are categorized into four topics: economy, regulatory, industry, and bank.

The package is low tech, but the simplicity is what makes it comfortable and intuitive for players. The production quality would make Milton Bradley proud, and the number of question cards is substantial.

However, the content of the cards provides more of an "Academic Challenge" setting than a general orientation review. I was surprised at the sophistication of the questions. They seem too advanced for a typical new hire class.

For instance, a true-false question in the economy category asks if a 4% increase in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 1997 was the highest in 10...

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