Income/Outcome is a competitive business simulation, and that competition is an important element of the learning environment. Competition creates engagement – people like playing games so they are attentive to the learning environment.
Additionally, competition provides the ‘hook’ for the learning; individuals/teams want to win, and in order to take control of the situation, they need to master some foundational business concepts. The financial planning and analysis tools which are used in the game, are immediately transferable to the real world (and for the same purpose – beating the competition!)
But competition can actually add more. Income/Outcome uses inter-related competition where the ‘best decision’ depends on and is unique to the situation (rather than independent competition where the ‘best decision’ is predetermined by the algorithm); this kind of competition creates diversity of strategies and results. Again, this is useful in connecting the learning back to the real world.
And because there is no ‘correct’ strategy in the inter-related competition, Income/Outcome generates extensive discussion of which way to drive the game board business. Persons/teams use real-world situations to illustrate their game board discussion… so the competition creates discussion, drives cross functional thinking (e.g. examination of inter-departmental views and priorities), and constantly links the classroom back to the workplace.
Learning and development people often select games and simulations because they create engagement.Competitive games and simulations actually have a lot more to offer!