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The Barbados Game

12/22/2013

Online gaming is growing in popularity and millions of people spend many hours a day playing them. Could we use this growing trend to focus attention on Barbados and gain the attention of the world by being innovative?

Many of these games simulate economic situations and one idea for a Barbados game would be to use the economic information available on Barbados to create a simulation of the Barbados economy and invite players to play roles in the economy, from politician to doctor, to business leader, to farmer, to drug trader, to unemployed. Initially, I expect, the game would be controlled by a Benevolent Dictator (the Game Master) who has the power to make laws, adjust taxes, provide tax incentives, make agreements, etc. Player would lobby for various laws/incentives etc. and the game master would make changes. This would benefit some players as the economy responds to these changes, either generating more employment or losing foreign exchange… The players would respond to these laws and the economic opportunities available and the Game Master would make adjustments as needed to optimise economic growth. Live news from Barbados would also influence the progress of the game. Once this module is up and running we could have an election and change the method of control – shifting this from the game controller to the ruling party. Several different games could be run simultaneously and this would allow a comparison between different strategies.

Having a game that is based on the Barbados economy would also attract interest to this country, and if what actually happens in Barbados influences the game it would encourage players to monitor what happens in Barbados to gain an advantage in the game. This would be a substantial PR revolution with the potential to add millions to tourist receipts. To enhance this effect successful players could be offered a holiday in Barbados.

I am sure that there are several talented game players in Barbados who could possibly get a start up module running and once there is something to show it would be easier to get financial support. Another alternative is to find a game that is close to what we need and buy it.

This is a real chance to engage our talented youth in a project that potentially has substantial benefits for Barbados.

Dick Stoute

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