This post is also available in: Català (Catalan) Español (Spanish)
The Commons Economy Game is a card game that allows to understand, in a playful way, the dynamics of this economy which puts the focus on the “sharing” instead of in the transaction and profit-making. This economy is different from that of the market and is articulated around a communal resource and the community that produces it and benefits from it.
Beta version 0.0.2
In the game, each player chooses a card, the project to be made sustainable, and finds out how to co-produce it, what resources to use, how to share it and how to co-govern it from a commons approach. The game finishes when all resources have managed to be sustainable, so no player can win on its own.
The game, a prototype, has been designed by a GAC (Group of Cooperativised Activity) at the femProcomuns cooperative. It has been designed by: David Gómez, Martí Sabaté, Thais Lloret and Mònica Garriga. The video has been filmed and edited by Palmira Sabaté.
It was played for the first time with participants at the Youth Employment Hall of Barcelona, in March 2018. It has been used in various workshops since then.
If you have comments or proposals for improvement, send them to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please, download the board and the cards to play from the following links. Print them, cut them and play!
Download the board (print 6 copies)
Sheets to print and cut the cards
Télécharger les cartes en français
- Cartes en français
It is played with a maximum of 6 players, if there are more people they will join one of the 6 players that are already around the table.
A 27-card deck is used consisting of two groups and four necks:
12 cards of “What”: natural (forest and water), agricultural (urban orchards and rooftop gardens), property (laundry and repair shop), knowledge (encyclopedias and theaters), software (telecommunications networks and web platforms) and hardware (electronic board and tools)
15 cards of “How”
5 of resources
• Natural resource
• Communal tools
• Free technological tools
6 to share
• Plans (open design)
• Documented processes
• Training / learning
• Free license for content
• Free license for software
• Free license for hardware
4 to produce
• Task distribution
• Work in blocks
• Technological hackathon
• Collective work day5 to govern / of governance
• Consumer cooperative
• Housing cooperative
• Open Council
• Nonprofit Association
Aim of the game
Find the 4 cards of ‘how’ that make each card of ‘what’ sustainable.
The game mechanics
Give a sustainability board to each player (maximum of 6 players).
Collect all the “what” cards, mix them and ask each player to take one at random. Finally, mix all the “how” cards, put them facing down in the center in a stack .
Development of the game
The game begins by reading the first rule: ‘somebody says the number ‘five’. The person who says ‘five’ is the first player, and the game continues in the direction of the clock needles.
Step 0 (only when starting the game): Take a card from the “what” stack. Announce the project that you will make sustainable, put the card down and leave it exposed in the central square of your board.
Each turn is divided into two steps:
Step 1: Take a card from the “how” stack. You can:
1.a) Keep it in your hand
1.b) Discard a card from your hand and leave it on the stack
1.c) Put it down to the board (step 2)
Step 2: Put a card from your hand down to the «waiting card box» on your board, at each turn you can put one card down and that will be visible to everyone. You can only have one card waiting, when you already have one you can:
2.a) re-store it in your hand or exchange it with one of the on your hand
2.b) change it with a card from another player’s hand
2.c) set it to the place that corresponds to your board of sustainability
Each turn you can only do one action of each step