Experimental Production

Commonspoly

Gaming for the Commons

Commonspoly is a non-profit, open-source board game that encourages a culture of cooperation and questions the violent model of neoliberal privatisation. Commonspoly emerged in 2015 as a way to hack and subvert the contemporary version of Monopoly. Just like the original, each space on the board provides goods or other resources, but in Commonspoly these goods can be Private, Public or Commons. Rather than competing to accumulate goods, the challenge is to create a society in which working together furthers the common good.

Commonspoly is an attempt to rectify a misunderstanding that has lasted for more than a century. Back in 1904, Elizabeth Magie patented The Landlord’s Game, a board game intended to warn people about the dangerous effects of monopolism. Years later, she sold the patent to Parker Brothers, the company that distorted her game, turning it into the Monopoly we all know today—a game that celebrates huge economic accumulation and the bankruptcy of anyone…except you.

Over the past years, the game has undergone many changes and resulted in a total of 4 editions. At the beginning of 2020, development began on this new and improved version 4.0, known as the Commonspoly Green Edition. This is the version which will be used in CreaTures.

As part of the project there are 3 goals:

  • To test the new edition in different places/contexts.
  • To evaluate the transformative potential of the game.
  • To create a trans-local network with people involved in
    testing and distributing the game.