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Press Release

Cleveland Fed sets sail with new version of its free, classroom-ready educational video game

New features include a Spanish-language version and mobile applications

Imagine for a moment you’re stranded on a desert island, with nothing but some foraged fruit. How do you fix your boat and get back home?

That’s the starting point for players of Escape from the Barter Islands, a free educational game being relaunched today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Learning Center and Money Museum. Newly redesigned gameplay sets players on a puzzle-based adventure, trading goods to fix their raft and sail safely away from shark-infested waters. The exercise teaches players basic economic concepts and helps students understand the role of money in a thriving economy.

Previously featured as an educational resource by the Smithsonian Institute and used in many middle-school classrooms, the game is now available in a Spanish-language version. Play it on the Cleveland Fed’s website or on the new mobile app which is now available free for download from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“Escape from the Barter Islands is one of our most popular educational games and we are excited to make it available on even more platforms with a non-Flash based game and the addition of a mobile app,” said Jen Ransom, manager of Education & Museum Outreach at the Cleveland Fed.

About the Cleveland Fed Learning Center and Money Museum

Ever wonder how money works or what the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland does as part of the central bank of the US? The Learning Center and Money Museum features more than 25 fun, hands-on exhibits that answer these questions and more. Open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am till 2:30 pm (except holidays), the museum’s interactive games, visual exhibits, creative stations and films explain everything about money - from how we use it to why it looks the way it does. All this in the heart of Cleveland, just steps away from other downtown attractions. Admission is free and photos are welcome. For more information, go to our website or follow the museum on Facebook and Twitter.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479