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AUGUST, 1997

Vineyard Challenge

An online, interactive game that incorporates concepts found in farming, business and marketing. The user is given a set amount of money with which to purchase a vineyard and grow crops. The outcome is based on several choices made by the user.

Most of the ideas described in the scenario are also shown in picture form. The information is presented with wide spacing and a layout that makes it very easy to read.

Most of the choices are presented in table format and are very easy to understand. All choices that link to another page always provide a way back to the previous page.

The McCarty Company, whose Web site the Vineyard Challenge is part of, was formed to improve management skills and business services within the agricultural community. This game allows users to develop their skills in both areas. The user begins with 100 gold pieces, information on root stocks, grapes, and potential markets, and is asked to choose a vineyard to purchase. The cost of the vineyard is subtracted from their gold. Next are choices such as weather insurance and pest control (the cost of both is also deducted). When all choices have been made, an assessment is made of the output of the vineyard and any profit made is added to the gold. The cycle continues several times (a 30 year cycle but done in 5 year increments); users can purchase additional vineyards if the funds are available and make different choices each time. This is a great site for teachers preparing lessons on business or economics and could appeal to multiple grade levels (some requiring more explanation than others). If multiple computers are available, several students could play simultaneously; if only one computer is available, students could work together to make the choices. A great skill builder and a lot of fun.