Hello everyone. As i said before on another topic, i am here to state a feedback about our experience using capitalism 2.
Using capitalism 2 1.07
Our experience: Usage of capitalism 2 in classroom.
Where: Ceará, Brazil. Federal University of Ceará (UFC). New Business Class
When: October-November, 2014
How: Computer lab. Students divided into groups of 3-4. Every group is a player. Multiplayer matches with 10 groups divided into 2 host group (due to the 7 players limit on multiplayer). Students play 45 minutes per class, using a total of 10 classes, where 2 were separated for tutorial and explanation of game mechanics. Afterwards... a small presentation where students would report the experience with the game to the rest of the classroom.
Aimed results: Students would practice and experience business related theories inside the simulator.
Capitalism 2 is indeed a powerful tool to catch the students interest. I have yet to see any study case making the classmates as engaged into what they are doing as this game does. The students reported having a great experience with the game, where they could practice and perceive some of the studied theories.
I believe the game still needs a lot of shaping to be fully adapted to educational purposes. Right now it is already a good tool, but there are a number of things that hinder down the experience from becoming a complete perfection and requires a lot of working around from the part of the teachers to pull this game properly, through i will continue using this game because the results were satisfying to me. I will number the bad points below.
1. Long learning curve
The students took awhile to be able to understand the game enough to operate it reasonably well. Took them 2 classes to learn. This isn´t bad by itself, but the problem is the tutorial (v 1.07) is not that useful. Since the tutorial forces the students to take some actions, it was common for them to be stuck in some parts of it, and i found out that explaining the mechanics by myself was much more effective.
2. Multiplayer limits
I believe one of the core ideas of using this in a classroom is for students to be able to compete directly against each other and have their actions impact (on a lesser or a bigger scale) the business of other students. Having a group dominate a market where others have trouble competing is a very nice sight. The problem is the game direct multiplayer function is very limited. Only 7 player on a game makes it very restrict. My solution was using more than one simultaneous hosting group.
And that also brings another problem: disconections. I still have not found out the origin of this problem, if the host started a game without someone or something, so i am hosting myself to have a better control this time. Anyway, the question is what to do once a player goes bankrupt or is disconnected from a game due to any reason? A nice feature would be allowing the player to have a fresh start on an ongoing multiplayer game, so the group dont stay alone or the professor needs to restart all over due to one group.
problems simply dissapear by using a single player approach, but i believe all the experience regarding aliances is lost without the multiplayer, so for the time being, i am sticking to multiplayer and working around the problems.
The game needs an easier and more acessible language changing methods.
That is it for now. I do recommend this game for classroom, but i also recommend for teachers to have an assistant who is computer savyy, so you can properly pull the experience and work around the limitations.