Most of us are familiar with the rules of Monopoly, but what about a game that incorporates ideas taken from the new economy, such as car sharing or crowdfunding? A Kickstarter project, the ‘Smart Money Maker’, is a competitive card game in which players must pay off a series of debts using new economy methods. There is a collaborative twist – players can only win if they help to clear each other’s debts. The game’s designer is Milan-based engineer and designer Laurence Humier, who cites Kevin Kelly’s book New Rules for the New Economy as a key influence in the design process.
“Everyday I see how the web opens up possibilities. We no longer have to keep money and goods – you have to share, and when you do that you create money and value,” says Humier. Humier has deliberately designed the ‘Smart Money Maker’ as an offline game, to get different generations of people talking about a changing economy.
“My own family don’t understand that the world has changed,” she says. “We cannot work as our parents worked, and there is a sense in our generation that you have a lot of taxes, and incomes do not balance against what you have to pay. I wanted to reach people who did not yet know about the new economy.”
According to Nesta research published last year, the age group of people in the UK with above average use of the collaborative economy tends to be in the 25-44 years bracket. In Milan, north Italy, Humier says that she has been inspired by the number of people increasingly participating in the collaborative economy.
“People in Milan are very open to ‘new economy’ ideas,” says Humier. “The sixty-year-old parent might decide not to buy their son or daughter a car for example, but activate a car-sharing service for them instead.”
For Humier, the process of developing the game has been revealing.
“The first round I played, everyone wanted to clear their own debt first and everyone lost!” says Humier. “Interestingly, the people who were good at the game, were people who by their day job were professionals with money. They grasped the winning strategies quickest.”
Playing the game late into the night with a group in Naples, one player suggested to Humier that she include a card to represent student loan debt. Meanwhile, Means of Exchange has been thinking about whether the winner should always be the player with the highest bank balance…
If you want to back Laurence Humier’s ‘Smart Money Maker’ project, here is the link again!