The Maroon and White Game: A simulation of trust and long-term gains and losses
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This paper explains how to play and facilitate the Maroon-White Game—a modified version of the Red-Black Game—which, like its predecessor, uses point maximization to motivate team performance. The Red-Black Game was designed to demonstrate to players the advantages of systems thinking, as opposed to sub-optimization, during a live playing of the game. Although effective in illustrating the greater mathematic gains incurred from systems thinking to a community-at-large, the simulation might be criticized in that obtaining a larger group gain appears to require individual diminishment—a practice that may not be as easily embraced in capitalistic societies or in societies that cherish individualism over collectivism. The Maroon-White Game is based on rules from the Red-Black Game, and is designed to help participants recognize two main concepts relating to sub-optimization: (1) our natural tendency, generally speaking, to sub-optimize in a competitive group setting; and (2) the effects of sub-optimization on relational sustainability and long-term gains and losses. Examining results from multiple playings of the Maroon-White Game illustrates the impact of trust—both earned and broken—on total point-based gains and losses returned not only to the community-at-large, but also to individuals, over time.
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