Fun and Game Theory is a free educational games site for teaching microeconomics, industrial organization and game theory. This site includes some simple (short) simulations designed to demonstrate specific principles. This should not be confused with longer simulations that extend across many class sessions. Instructors set up user IDs & passwords for their class and students are paired with others in the class (or even across universities if desired). These are really nice interactive online exercises that can be done between classes. In this sense, they are an excellent online complement beyond the usual readings and talking head videos. Here are some of the games:

  • Cournot and Stackelberg games
  • Public good financing game
  • Common-pool resources game
  • Prisoner’s dilemma
  • Asymmetric matching penny game
  • An air transport economics simulation covering price discrimination, vertical differentiation and peak-load pricing.

In addition, you may wish to check out some of their longer, commercial games (
Contributed by Nicolas Gruyer

Fish Story: A common tragedy

The  tragedy of the commons refers to the inefficient use of a shared resource when individual actors have incentives that are misaligned with the larger community. Classic examples might be a shared pastures or common waters for fishing. Dennis Meadows and John Sterman offer a computer based game that simulates this problem in a fishing setting (Fishbanks: A Renewable Resource Management Simulation). Below is a short video that describes the problem.

Contributed by Russ Coff

Acquire Box Game

“Acquire is a box game that is easy to learn and can be played in about an hour by four players.  I bought a dozen games and break the class up into teams and link the game to cases on rivalry, competition, and acquisitions.  It does a great job of putting students in the position to see how serendipity and strategy interact, and how your wins are a function of others’ actions, intentions and hubris.  The first site below actually has a couple of free and simple DOS versions of the game that students can use for practice and familiarization.” Click Here to Access

Contributed by Mason CarpenterMason Carpenter


Quarter-length and Semester-length Simulations

Attention simulation users: It would be great to have a separate page for each simulation below. If you have used it and can summarize strengths, limitations, and some tips for implementing, please submit a full entry on the simulation.

Click the links below to access quarter and semester length simulations

Contributed by Mason CarpenterMason Carpenter

Learning Through Simulations and Exercises

I’ve been using simulations to tie together segments in my class and to give students a better experience with the process of strategy.  It is important to allocate a good chunk of time — from one to three hours — to fully debrief the sim.  This debrief includes some sharing of emotions, since simulations can result in conflict and anxiety — I’ve had teams explode and almost come to blows.  It is useful to point out to participants that although this is a simulation, part of the results are a reflection of the individual themselves, along with their particular role, and the context provided by the simulation.  Three readings that may be helpful regarding sims are (Also see Brian Boyd’s website for additional resources below under OTHER TOOLS & LINKS:

Keys, J. Bernard, Robert M. Fulmer, and Stephen A. Stumpf.  1996.  Microworlds and simuworlds: Practice fields for the learning organization, Organizational Dynamics, Spring.

Orbanes, Phil. 2002. Everything I know about business I learned from Monopoly, Harvard Business Review, March.

Stumpf, Stephen A. and Jane E. Dutton. 1990. The dynamics of learning through management simulations: Let’s dance, Journal of Management Development, 9(2) 7-15.

Contributed by Mason CarpenterMason Carpenter