Explain Blockchain in an easy-to-understand, fun game!

Taylor Conran
Taylor Conran used Ask the Experts™
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For one of my classes, I have to conduct a 20 min game/activity with the class that explains how blockchain works in an easy-to-understand way. Would be even better if it has to do with marketing, as that's the class I'm in. It can be as rudimentary or as advanced as we want.

Only idea I have right now is playing a giant game of rock paper scissors where everybody frantically runs around for 10 minutes and plays & wins as many games of rock paper scissors with classmates as they can. When each game is over, both opponents have to go to the notebook in the center of the room and put a tally mark next to who won. This shows that blockchain ensures accountability, everybody documents every "transaction" that is made, and that everybody has access to the public records at all times. (Rather than just everybody keeping track of their own score, which could induce cheating.)

Any ideas? I feel like this is a fun question to answer.
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Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Thinking out loud, perhaps a modified bingo game may work.

Each card contains a set of numbers printed on the card where the minimum value is 1 and maximum value is 75 with 25 spaces for numbers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bingo_card
Players use cards that feature five columns of five squares each, with every square containing a number (except the middle square, which is designated a "FREE" space). The columns are labeled "B" (numbers 1–15), "I" (numbers 16–30), "N" (numbers 31–45), "G" (numbers 46–60), and "O" (numbers 61–75)

  • Each card has a serial number.
  • Every player has a note book that contains rows of serial numbers. Each row also contains a list of the numbers on that card.
  • Random numbers are picked out of a jar where there are 75 unique numbers 1 - 75.
  • One person picks a number from the jar, calls it out.  
  • As each number is called, players write down the number in their notebook.
  • If a player has a number on their card that was called, they mark it off.  
  • If a player gets one number from each of the columns, they have "won" and call out bingo.
  • The winning player calls out their serial number.
  • All players check their note books for the wining serial number and are able to verify the winning card.
  • If all players can verify, the winning card is valid and the winning player gets some prize.


Here you can demonstrate just about every aspect of how this works.  
  • If somebody cheats and changes their card, it will be detected at time of verification.
  • Every player verifying means this is decentralized and not reliant on any one person.
  • Getting Bingo is similar to mining and getting the prize.
I would probably add something for simple encryption.  Make a very easy to understand graphic that matches your game.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Like the bingo one a lot :)

Also Scrabits - which I tried last year with some students. Took a while to get started but also helps with the transaction log, how your whole Bitcoin is returned to you as "change" and, as the author of the article describes easier if you slow it right down and take turns.  At the same time explaining that in the real world model everyone is looking for (mining) a valid chain at the same time.
Taylor ConranMarketing and Community Relations Intern

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Commented:
Thank you both! I chose Scott's because it seemed a bit simpler to implement in a quick class setting but I really appreciate you sharing the Scrabbits post as well, MASQ.

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