BlueSky Ventures Game

Use the BlueSky business simulation in your class

Instructor-led - Alternate Reality Course
What's Included?
  • On-demand single-player experience
  • An instructor discussion guide
Skills you'll learn
  • Frameworks for understanding business strategy
  • How to conduct strategic experiments
  • Techniques that drive business success
Time commitments
Experience duration:
90 minutes
Full details below

Provoke rich class discussion on topics ranging from strategy to entrepreneurship to corporate finance with this free simulation

BlueSky Ventures game is an Alternate Reality Course, offering your students a chance to learn and practice in a story-based game format. The game takes about 90 minutes to play and is available for free (you can play the game here). In the game, students learn how to assess business ventures, experiment to gauge the viability of a business, and use mental techniques to imagine and plan for future scenarios.

They will have a chance to analyze business models, interview executive founders, and build financial projections for a variety of realistic businesses. As the game progress, learners will hear from Wharton faculty, and receive personalized feedback and suggestions for further growth.

The game covers a lot of topics and benefits from a deeper discussion. While there are some right and wrong choices, most of the decisions your students will make in the game are open-ended. The game is designed so that choices involve tradeoffs, and this tension paves the way for an excellent class exercise that can be adapted for many kinds of classes.

Our instructor guide offers three discussion paths tailored to your course. The first path utilizes the game to teach business basics; the second uses the game to teach business analysis; and the third uses the game to teach entrepreneurship. Each path includes core and advanced discussion questions and possible assignments. In the future, more teaching tools and notes will be available to take your discussion to the next level.

To run this exercise in your class send your students here, and sign up and download our free Instructor Discussion Guide.

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The Experience

BlueSky Ventures is a free, on-demand ARC that takes between 60-90 minutes. You and your students can play it through once or multiple times.

Before the game. Your class should play the BlueSky Ventures game. Depending on the length of your class, students can either play the game during the class, or you can assign the game as pre-class work and ask that students come prepared to discuss the game in class. The game takes about 90 minutes to play and introduces students to core ideas in business strategy. We suggest that you play the game yourself first.

During the game. Depending on what you want to focus on, you can tell students to pay particular attention to specific decisions or information in the game. For instance, for an introductory business course, you can tell students to focus on the framework for analyzing the companies. This will set the stage for a discussion about student choices through this framework. For a course on business analysis, you can tell students to focus on the documentation, interviews, and information they have about each company; you can address sources of information during your discussion. And for a course on entrepreneurship, you can tell students to focus on the assumptions that each company makes; in your discussion, you can explore these and the kinds of experiments students might run to test these assumptions.

After the game. The discussion questions provided are suggested questions. In some cases, questions may be posed through an audience response tool, and many of the questions can be answered via teams or turned into homework assignments.

This class can also serve as an introduction to the advanced six class session long Entrepreneurship Game, which puts learners in the role of founders making strategic and entrepreneurial decisions, as well as the Corporate Innovation Game, which teaches how to develop new ideas inside of organizations. Contact Wharton Interactive for more information if you are interested in these classes.

What is an Alternate Reality Course (ARC)?

Built on our ARC platform, Alternate Reality Courses are a new breed of serious games. Every course combines world-class subject matter expertise, hyper-immersive interactive fiction, the science of learning, and innovative game design. ARCs are deeply engaging, teach through experience, and promote robust and enduring knowledge that learners will use beyond the course.

An ARC teaches learners in three ways:

  • Learning objectives - skills learners will gain and use in the future
  • Practice objectives - specific experiences learners will encounter, so that when they see them in the real world, they will know what to do
  • Thinking objectives - mental techniques learners will develop that are applicable outside of the context of the simulation

Featuring

How our experiences work

Access teaching materials, support and notifications every step of the way

Setup

Configure for your learning objectives, set up classes in the experience

Players Prepare

Invite learners to enroll and set up their groups

Play

Run the experience and access support and notifications as you go

Debrief

Summarize the experience for your learners and the outcomes

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Lessons of BlueSky Ventures Game include:

  • Understanding the building blocks for business success, including strategic frameworks for evaluating concepts
  • Working with multiple data to assess businesses holistically
  • Conducting strategic experiments to reduce risk
  • Assess business potential through interviewing founders
  • Hands-on experience with financial models and projections, along with sensitivity analysis
  • Improvise answers to investor questions based on what you learned
  • Using mental simulation and mental time travel to get new strategic perspectives
  • Avoiding incorrect pattern matching and other destructive mental shortcuts

Learning objectives

  • Understanding the building blocks for business success, including strategic frameworks for evaluating concepts
  • Working with multiple data to assess businesses holistically
  • Conducting strategic experiments to reduce risk

Practice objectives

  • Assess business potential through interviewing founders
  • Hands-on experience with financial models and projections, along with sensitivity analysis
  • Improvise answers to investor questions based on what you learned

Thinking objectives

  • Using mental simulation and mental time travel to get new strategic perspectives
  • Avoiding incorrect pattern matching and other destructive mental shortcuts

Authors

Ethan Mollick - Headshot

Ethan Mollick

Co-Founder and Faculty Director

Read Ethan's Bio