Classroom Game Teaches Students Global Awareness about Life in Emerging Markets

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MindWare Publishing, a developer of creative training solutions, has created Footsteps©, a board game that helps educational institutions teach students global awareness about the social, political, and cultural issues facing people from a range of economic classes in emerging markets, to help them join a booming global market.

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It was difficult for me to see things going so well for the wealthy rancher, when I was barely making ends meet as a street vendor.

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Whether identifying geographic locations, discussing political ideology, culture, or day-to-day life, most American students do not know how people in other countries live. This is a critical disadvantage to students joining a job market heavily influenced by international economics and politics.

MindWare Publishing, a Seattle-based developer of creative training solutions, has created Footsteps©, a classroom game to teach students global awareness. In the board game, students take on roles of different classes in four major emerging markets--Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- and walk in another person's shoes throughout classroom game action.

In a 2005 speech given in Seattle for the National Association for Independent Schools, Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek, indicated that schools have a huge responsibility to equip students to live in the global community. Zakaria stated, "The most important thing that schools can do is to make people aware that understanding the world is very much part of the requirement of being an educated person...But we're a country where very few people...know much about the world."

The Washington Learns Steering Committee in May of 2006 identified that as of this year:

  •     Six in 10 students cannot find Iraq on a map of the Middle East
  •     80% of students did not know that India is the world's largest democracy
  •     Nearly three-quarters incorrectly select English as most widely spoken native tongue (it's Mandarin Chinese)
  •     Young Americans rank next to last in a nine-country survey of knowledge of current events

"I am often asked how we can educate people without boring them to death with facts and figures," said Bill Higgins, CEO of MindWare Publishing. "The Footsteps© game does just that. It's fun, insightful, and educational while portraying very accurately what life is like in these rapidly developing emerging markets. It is not always fair, but it is realistic."

Players of the classroom game say they gained more global awareness about these emerging markets. One said, "It was difficult for me to see things going so well for the wealthy rancher, when I was barely making ends meet as a street vendor." Another said, "I could not get what I learned during the game out of my head for over a week. It had that kind of impact."

Students come away from the game with more insight into life in emerging markets at all levels of income, a better understanding of what lower income citizens in emerging markets need to raise their standard of living, improve their health, and live a more fulfilling life, and much more awareness of the political climate in which citizens of emerging markets live.

Footsteps© can also benefit businesses teaching employees global awareness for expansion into emerging markets, the religious community to equipping volunteers embarking on philanthropic missions and ministry outreach, and families wanting to learn about other countries firsthand but are unable to travel as much as they would like.

Learn more about the Footsteps© game sets for the Brazil, Russia, India, and China emerging markets, see price rebates, and enter for a chance to win a free set of all four emerging market games (shipping and handling included). Go to and click the 'Footsteps© Game Contest' link for rules, conditions, and entry form. No purchase required.

New customers will receive 20% off their first order by mentioning this press release using discount code PRX2006-1.

About MindWare Publishing

MindWare Publishing has been in the business of developing creative solutions to address client training needs for more than 20 years. They are headquartered in Seattle, Washington.


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Bill Higgins, CEO
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