Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Free Economics Games from Economics Professors


Free, Ready to play, Nothing to install, No need to register! Each student plays online on his cell phone, tablet or laptop.

Nicolas Gruyer, a former economics associate professor, has partnered with a an experienced developer, Nicolas Toublanc, to develop the web-based market game airECONsim (http://aireconsim.com). The objective of the game is to illustrate as simply as possible the basic concepts and tools of industrial organization and microeconomics, through a game. Theoretic comments (or lectures) that may accompany the game can be found here.

In this simulation, players are responsible for managing the fleet and the pricing policy of virtual airlines competing over the same routes, and must adapt their strategies to a constantly changing environment (crises, airport congestion and regulatory changes, emergence of environmental constraints, development of a new aircraft, cost evolutions, new route openings …).

The game was intentionally kept as simple as possible, to be able to add more complex scenarios over it (for example about CO2 emissions permits markets, or studying collusion or barriers to entry) without getting lost into details. Depending on the scenarios, the game can require between 3 hours to 20 hours.

airline simulation game

The technical frame behind airECONsim made it possible to create a second site very fast, offering shorter games for teaching economics, (http://economics-games.com). These games are free, ready to play and there is no registration. Teachers simply choose the game they want to run, enter the number of players and the game can start: They just have to communicate their logins to the students and have them connect to the site with their phones, tablets or laptops. Of course, there is an administration interface to observe and debrief the game.

There are currently 10 games (between 10 minutes and 2 hours), including a few market games. One of the games studies the impact of fixed costs and production capacities on prices and profits in an industry. Another game is a simplified version of airECONsim. A third game is a classic repeated prisoner’s dilemma. These games are :

Price discrimination and peak-load pricing

Competition Game: Impact of fixed costs and capacity constraints on price and profits with differentiated goods

Competition Game: Sunk costs, monopoly, and introduction to the Competition Game above

Competition Game: Impact of fixed costs and capacity constraints on price and profits with homogenous goods

Competition Game: Impact of the number of competitors on price and profits

Voluntary contribution to a public good

Prisoner’s Dilemma

Team Costly Effort

Heads Or Tails: Asymetric Zero-Sum Game

Simultaneous Entry Game (repeated)

More market games and game theory classics will follow (you are invited to submit request about games you would like, through social networks or direct emails).

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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