The Fish Banks Ltd board game is the “Original” Renewable Resource Management Simulation Game developed by Dennis Meadows, co-author of “Limits to Growth.”
Fish Banks is a role-playing, board game in which teams of players manage and operate their own fishing companies. Players step into the role of captain and crew competing against other fishing companies. Each fishing company begins with equal cash, fishing boats, and technology. They then strategize to buy and sell ships, select fishing locations, and manage their fleets. Their decisions combine with the uncertainties of weather, fish catch, and the decisions of competitors to determine whether they can success to make a living without depleting the available fish.
Learning Objective: Fish Banks provides an engaging, experiential learning environment to explore the complexity of engaging multiple stakeholders in discussions of the careful and efficient use of natural resources. The game and debrief lead into a natural discussion of sustainability and Garrett Hardin’s (1968) Tragedy of the Commons. The debriefing slides also contain a causal loop diagram that captures the main interactions contained in the game, which represents dynamics seen playing out around the world. The game materials also provide historical data on the fate of fisheries from around the world. The game also elevates discussion on the dynamics of cooperation, competition, resource management, and negotiation.
Who Should Play? The game is suitable for all age levels, engaging children and adults equally. The game has been used in K-12 education, for undergraduates, graduate students, and for managers in a variety of fields.
How Long Does it Take? Ideally each session takes 2 hours. You may split this across two days or have the participants meet for an additional session. The game works well for groups from 5 to 30.
What’s Included? This complete set includes everything necessary to play the game. You may not duplicate the game software or manual. We will provide the following:
- Game board
- Game box
- 85 little wooden boats of varying sizes
- Video of Dennis Meadows introducing the game. This video is presented in two formats, one for Mac and one for Windows. Use this video to start a game session to make the summary of roles, rules, and goals.
- Web-based application version 10.1 for playing the game that the game facilitator will use. You will need internet connection to run the game.
- 2 Powerpoint slide sets – one for introducing the game and one for debriefing the game
- Instructions – Read Me
The game’s computer application requires one computer with internet access in order to facilitate the game. It can be executed on most computers and most operating systems including both Macintosh and Windows platforms. This updated software should work on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome.
Would you like a game facilitator?
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Want An Online Version? Please note that the Society is selling Dennis Meadows’ original board game version and it’s a great teaching and learning tool. There is a current online version available through MIT in collaboration with Forio.
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