Milan's Bocconi University has partnered with Impressionware and Italian developer Tim for the creation of a unique mobile game designed specifically as an entrepreneurial educational tool for young Europeans.
Ice Cream Empire is a strategic simulation game that challenges players to run a successful ice-cream stand in the bustling heart of Milan's fashion and commerce district, teaching young entrepreneurs how to strategically develop their business, read balance sheets, understand accountancy reports and balance promotions, stocks and daily outgoings to create the ultimate thriving business.
Angelo Provasoli, Bocconi University rector, commented: "With ICE we want to have a first, informal and amusing contact with young European people feeling a call to economic and entrepreneurial activity and we want to spread economic culture. It will be a valuable contribution to the understanding of corporate mechanisms on behalf of a wide, young, international public."
Split into three stages, the game begins with a news and weather forecast which may influence the players chosen location for their stand, choosing from key landmarks and famous areas including Bocconi University, Piazza Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the bohemian Brera district, Via Montenapoleone, the Navigli area and the Renaissance castle Castello Sforzesco.
Players choose the location, employees (such as additional cashiers or entertainers to draw in the crowds), whether or not to spend money on promotions, the recipe of the ice cream (watery and cheap or rich and expensive?), and how much stock to buy for the day based on projected sales.
The results of decisions made in the first stage are played out in the second, as players wait to see if their strategy is paying off and pulling in the customers or not. The final stage involves an economic and financial report detailing the success or failure for the day which allows players to evaluate and revise their strategy for the following days.
There will also be an additional competitive edge for ICE players, with the ability to send their results to the Ice Cream Stock Exchange and compete with other players for the most successful business.
More information on Ice Cream Empire and a link to download the game for free (excluding operator charges for the time taken to download to handsets) can be found by visiting the Bocconi University website.