Last year, I had an environmental science class in which we did a little simulation game. It was called ‘Fishbanks’ and basically we got in groups and had our own little ‘fishing companies’. Companies build/bought fishing boats, and sent them out each year to fish. The fish stocks were limited, and overfishing could exhaust them.
Now this was quite fun, and after being briefed on the rules, our company had a very wicked strategy- we were going to be the Big Bad Megacorporation. Our plan was to out-fish all the other companies, exhausting the fish stocks to deprive our competitors of profit.
Part of this plan involved buying fishing boats. See, it took a year to build them in the game, but if they were purchased from auctions they could be used that year. So it was actually worth it to pay more to be able to use the boats sooner (the game only lasted 10 ‘years’ so time was money!). We frequently strove to out-bid our opponents to get all the boats. At one point, me (our company representative) and the rep from a rival company were in a bidding war. The other girl kept raising her hand and then asking dumb questions which the teacher had already asked a zillion times. Thing is, when she was raising her hand, the teacher thought she was bidding and even when she said she was just asking a question, the current bidding price was getting confused and inflated. I was getting angry about this and told her she should save the questions for after class. She replied, “Why don’t YOU and your LAME-ASS company save your dumb comments for after class?” I stood up and boomed, “Our company will BURY YOU!” which stunned much of the class, including the teacher. This was war!
Sadly, despite our ambitions, we did very badly in the game but it was due to bad investments. Because we were buying so many fishing boats, it forced other companies to go into debt to buy boats themselves to try to stay competitive. Since they were auctioned off, the value of fishing boats soared. However, when the fish stocks ran out, boats were just an expense (they cost money to maintain). And so since we had the most boats, we went bankrupt when we were unable to sell them off. Though, our actions did cause four other companies to get dragged down with us.
The teacher commented that our company was like a ‘dinosaur company’. Big and powerful, but unable to adapt to changing environments. I blame our loss on having the fish stocks getting exhausted much earlier than predicted, and internal conflicts with the company regarding yearly budgets.