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Game-based training for gift and hospitality management

Robert Clark ( is the Manager of Legal Research at TRACE International in Annapolis, Maryland, USA.

When you’re a compliance officer, staying on top of your company’s gift, travel, and hospitality expenditures is a never-ending task. The basic principle is straightforward: Small tokens of graciousness and appreciation are an appropriate part of business, but too much generosity may be an inappropriate attempt to bribe one’s way into favored treatment. The actual job of drawing the line between an innocuous gift and a nefarious bribe requires significant training, experience, and judgment.

In the face of real-world complexity, we can step back and find pleasure in simpler recreation—the games, sports, and stories that help us relax and keep us entertained. But these forms of play have a serious side as well, mirroring real-world scenarios and challenges and subliminally preparing the player (whether child or adult) for eventual reengagement.

How broadly can this principle be applied? For example, could managing gifts and hospitality somehow be turned into a game? What would that look like? Would it be fun? Challenging? Instructive? With nothing to risk but strained credulity, let’s see what we can come up with.

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