Final Paper in Foreign Trade – Serious Game

Hi everybody,

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the board game that I developed for my final paper at the Foreign Trade University. That is correct. A game (more specifically, a Serious Game) inside the formal and serious area of the International Trade.

Most of the people that I worked with to developed this project were a little bit unsecured about it. They told me that I was going to have a lot of work compared to all the other students and that my project may not be a good idea. But that is the fun and the award of doing something different. You know that there is nothing like that anywhere. And that was how I felt at the time. I do believe that working in something new is somehow as a circle of knowledge. In other words, for me is like walking in circles, over the same way that all the others has already walked. You will not have anything new from that. Maybe better than the previous project, but not new. I wanted to break out of that circle, and I think I did. It took me a lot of time, nights without sleeping, lots of coffee and mental health, but the final work, in my humble opinion, was really good!

Now, about the project…. Making the long story, short, I made a Sea Import Game where the student of Foreign Trade could go through all the steps Sea Import dealing with the international logistic, documents, transports, terminals, customs and more.

I worked with a lot of people in this area (most of them students) and they really had a wonderful experience dealing with it. But the problem was that most of them didn’t know what would happen if something go wrong. Some of them even told me “I don`t wanna know. A problem like that could broke the company.” Or “if something goes wrong with the Customs, we will have to pay a fine so large that we will have to work for the last 5 years without payment.” Know, you image a fresh student that is really excited to get into this world and heard something like that? Some of the thoughts are “I will never work with that”, “I will have to work a lot to get a job with that responsibility.” And I am saying that because I was one of the fresh students and had the same thoughts. That’s why I came along with this game. With this way for the students to make it wrong and learn from their mistakes.

The game has over every step, something to do regarding to the position the player is. At the Origin (understanding that you are importing from out of Brazil), you have to deal with the documents, fees, transports, etc. In Brazil, you have to make sure that documents, classification, fumigation and other stuffs related to the area are ok. At some points of the board, you have tasks that you have to complete and those tasks are “problems” that could happen during the process. It could be some wrong information at the document, problems with the cargo or the ship, problems over the Terminal, Custom Broker problem…. The student had to deal with the fake problem, solve and learn with it.

Of course it still has a lot of work to do and probably I would have to play many times the game to make it work, but having created it is something that you cannot describe. I was really good to go through every step, creating and planning, thinking and working on it. Because of that, I can say that this is a paper that I really enjoyed doing and I am very proud of it.

Well, that’s it for today and thank you for accessing my blog.

Originally posted in 11/12/2013.

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