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The Fish Game

Approx. ½ hour set up; ½ hour to do introductions (where applicable); and, in order to achieve all of the intended learning outcomes, allow for 2 ½ hours to play and de-brief the game. Modify as needed.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved with the same level of thinking we used when we created them.
— Albert Einstein

We are going to run a swordfish fishing industry! Each person in the group will be fishing for swordfish in the same ocean. Assign the envelope of fish to a banker (“nature”) in the group of players. The banker will put 20 fish in the middle of the table. Twenty fish is this ocean’s carrying capacity for swordfish. In each round, each person can fish for a certain number of swordfish. Traditionally, people fish for swordfish in the three following ways:

1) Harpoon fishing: take one fish
2) Long-line fishing: take two fish
3) Free-for-all long-line fishing: take three fish

Each turn, each person can take up to three fish, depending on the instructions for that game.

The Cloud Institute’s Fish Game was originally inspired by the “Fish Banks Game” developed by Dennis Meadows

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