Stories from the Classroom

Collusion, Communism, and Catan...The Best Gamification of a Gov & Econ Class

Episode Summary

One high school and economics teacher loved strategy board games growing up so he decided to turn his government and economics class into a complex game of life where students build their own society and economy...which inevitably invites collusion, lack of resources, hard lessons in investing, and arguments over the free market vs communism. Imagine Monopoly meets Settles of Catan meets Lord of the Flies meets The World Peace game.

Episode Notes

I got the chance to go into Mike Franz's high school gov & econ class when they were playing YOLO, a year-long game where one week of school represents one year of life. The first week of the game the students are 18 years old, the last week of the game they are near retirement age. What will they make of their society, of their economy, of their investments, of their world?

We explore the following:

If you'd like to reach out to Mike about YOLO or gamification, he can be reached at:

If you'd like to take a look at the YOLO rule book, here it is (it's a living document always being revised):
[coming soon!]

Music by:
Big Bird's Date Night (Full) by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (