Sunday, February 27, 2011

Been Busy. Using Game Material for Learning Important Skills

My excuse is pretty valid. My baby boy was born and I don't have internet access outside work (and I'm on my paternity leave).

More on the topic of Gaming. I need to brush up on my accounting as work gets more complicated. I have moved to walking distance from work and now that I'm baby sitting some times I need to have some sitdown hobbies which can unwind my head, especially since I am now sleep deprived.

So I plan to create some income statements, with Accounting for Dummies (which is lighter and more portable than my accounting studies book since I'm only after reviews and exercises) and two very usefull Game Books: Traveller and Harn.

Contrary to popular understanding of Accounting, it is not just for Cash it can be used to account for Man Hours of Labor and types of goods used like Cash.

What would be useful to any gamer who wants to hone some important real world skills, handling and experience with Financial Statements, is to have it as part of the game. I've done this before when I became the book keeper in a Traveller game.

With accounting you need exercises to experience using the tools (like the acid tests, ROI, etc.)and it can be fun especially when the Player is trying to do some accounting "magic" for a game (like how entering capital, such as a space ship as Capital with depreciation or as an expense, and how it can affect the margins).

I got the idea of making more Accounting Examples from Harn Manor. The final product of a generated manor IS an Income Statement dressed up in Game Rules. This gave me the idea, what if I can doodle away some of my time balancing the books of Manor. Realistically these books are never as detailed as modern day equivalents, but it is a story telling exercise as well as an understanding of the process.

So Harn Manor, given some random variables and some tweaks can be a Income Statement Generator for various "Entities". I have yet to figure out how usefull in a game is a Balance sheet, since it focuses on Equity, a more legal and difficult to sort aspect to be put into a game.

How I wish there was a website that had Traveller and Harn Manor exercises, low-tech households converted into GURPS allowing the creation of other House-hold estates of different cultures and eras.

In which I would spend maybe an hour a day generating a House hold, which is a set of npcs, establish their economic relationships, and noting down other aspects of relationships while brushing up on my accounting.

If not a low-tech household, a ship enterprise for Traveller. Showing the different examples of financial strategies reflected by the characters preferred method of business. I guess here a Balance Sheet is important since it will settle matters of equity between Partners/Corporations.


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