LEMONADEArticle by GIGI BISSON
Program by BOB POLARO
Lemonade is a well-known educational simulation that teaches children basic economic concepts. Bob Polaro's excellent Atari version used to be available in the old Atari Program Exchange catalog. Recommended for ages 8 to 12. This BASIC program works on all Atari 8-bit computers of any memory size, with disk or cassette.
Have you ever dreamed about starting your own small business? Lemonade tests your business sense. Your lemonade stand could make you rich. But if your business is a lemon, it could make you bankrupt. And if you go bankrupt, the game's over.
When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. But you might not necessarily make a profit. The object of the Lemonade game is to make lots of money by weighing your lemonade production and advertising costs against anticipated sales.
Your costs vary with supply and demand, inflation, or lemon shortages. Other conditions such as strikes and road construction can also affect your sales. And watch out for rainstorms! As in the real business world, you don't see the effects of these problems until after you've committed your assets.
Does this sound complicated? Actually Lemonade is very simple to play, but it teaches these complex economic concepts. Playing Lemonade is a little like playing Monopoly-or like an earthbound version of the science-fiction business game M.U.L.E.
Of course, the object is to be a shrewd investor and make lots of bucks. Meanwhile, you'll learn something about the laws of supply and demand, the effects of advertising your business, and the influence of unexpected events on business ventures.
The information is presented in color and there are a few sound effects, but no graphics. Lemonade probably wouldn't hold the attention of young children very long. But older children will find that making money can be as much fun as zapping space aliens! Teachers can easily use the program to support lesson plans that define terms like "assets" and concepts like inflation
HOW TO SUCCEED
You run a lemonade stand. It costs you money to make lemonade and to advertise your stand. The object is to make decisions that will help you earn as much money as possible.
To start your lemonade business, type in the program, check it with TYPO II, and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. Antic disk subscribers will find the program under the file name LEMONADE.BAS. When you begin the game, you will see a color display telling you it's Day 1.
You begin with $2 in assets. (Assets are how much money you have to spend.) You use your assets to buy ingredients and make signs. On the first day, it only costs you 2 cents to make every glass of lemonade, but that won't last for long in these inflationary times!
Some days, you might see special conditions that will affect your business. For example, a Teamsters Strike. This means the truck drivers who deliver your lemons aren't working. So the cost of lemons and the demand for lemonade will go up, and you can charge more.
If Roadwork is displayed, the road will be blocked and customers won't be able to get to your stand. Or, if prices are down, you'll have to advertise more or charge less because demand will be down. If there's a Heat-wave, you're in luck-people will be thirsting for your product.
Now you have to decide how many glasses of lemonade to make. Type in a number. You can make up to 99 glasses. (If you want only five glasses, type in 05.)
Instantly, "Signs at 15 cents" will pop up. Sometimes the price will change. The more signs you make to advertise your stand, the more lemonade you'll be able to sell. You can make up to nine signs.
"Price/Glass" will appear next. Think about your costs and the conditions and then decide how much to charge. You can charge up to 99 cents a glass. But remember, if you get greedy and charge too much, people might decide to drink the New Coke instead.
Now the computer will ask, "Is this okay?" Type [Y] if it is. If you want to charge a different price, type in [N] and start over. The new numbers will replace the old ones on screen as you type them in.
The computer will do your accounting and tell you how many glasses you sold and how much money you made.
If life is sweet, keep going until you've made lots of money and become a lemonade tycoon. Of course, if your business goes sour, you might go bankrupt. If that happens, don't get bitter. Just press [START] and try again.
When Bob Polaro was a programmer at Atari, he wrote so much software that people used to jokingly refer to him as "Bob Co." He now runs an educational software programming business, Bob Co., in Santa Cruz, California.
Listing 1 LEMONADE.BAS Download