Michael Ratajczyk of the Business Department is hosting an event for students, faculty and staff to play The Wealth of Nations International Trade Game, a game of his invention, on Tuesday, April 19, from 6-8 p.m. in the Common Room.
After graduating from Saint Mary’s in 2003, Ratajczyk travelled internationally, negotiating product prices. For the past three years he has been teaching business intelligence classes and microeconomics.
“In my second year of teaching I asked myself how I can get the students to feel the material,” Ratajczyk explained. “So I created this game.”
Combining what he learned at Saint Mary’s with his experience in international trade, Ratajczyk developed a team-based game that uses assessment points and objectives to get students actively involved in learning about economics and trade.
Each team is made up of five people and they begin by choosing their nation type, or “landers.” Options include Woodlanders, Riverlanders, Desertlanders and more. Each lander is capable of producing three out of the eight resources involved in the game. Teams need to trade with each other for resources they cannot produce.
Teams also choose their type of government, ideologies, religion, and a national achievement that will earn bonuses.
Each team’s objective is to keep their citizens alive and reach a total of 150 points by the end of the two-hour game.
“It all funnels back to supply-and-demand and keeping your citizens alive, but you can have your own identity. If you want to be green, you can choose to not chop down trees. You can be peaceful or build up a military. I think there’s something for everybody.”
The Wealth of Nations has become so popular in Ratajczyk’s microeconomics course that he has former students volunteering to help run the game for his 7:45 a.m. class.
Food will be served at 5:30 p.m. before Tuesday’s event and prizes will be awarded after the game. Those interested can register online and walk-ins will be accepted.