The maroon-white game: A simulation of trust and long-term gains and losses Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper explains how to play and facilitate the Maroon-White Game-a modified version of the Red-Black Game-which, like its predecessor, uses point maximization to motivate team performance. The Red-Black Game was designed to demonstrate to players the advantages of systems thinking, as opposed to sub-optimization, during a live playing of the game. Although effective in illustrating the greater mathematic gains incurred from systems thinking to a community-at-large, the simulation might be criticized in that obtaining a larger group gain appears to require individual diminishment-a practice that may not be as easily embraced in capitalistic societies or in societies that cherish individualism over collectivism. The Maroon-White Game is based on rules from the Red-Black Game, and is designed to help participants recognize two main concepts relating to sub-optimization: (1) our natural tendency, generally speaking, to sub-optimize in a competitive group setting; and (2) the effects of sub-optimization on relational sustainability and long-term gains and losses. Examining results from multiple playings of the Maroon-White Game illustrates the impact of trust-both earned and broken-on total point-based gains and losses returned not only to the community-at-large, but also to individuals, over time.

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, J. P., & Rybkowski, Z. K.

publication date

  • January 2013