Hi there, hope you had a safe journey up here, welcome to Commonspoly’s utopia!

Commonspoly is a free licensed board game to playfully reflect about the possibilities and limits of the commons as a critical discourse towards relevant changes in our societies. This board game is an ideal device to introduce the commons theories into groups in a pedagogical and ludic way. But also for rainy boring afternoons! Commonspoly also is an attempt to repair a misunderstanding that has lasted for more than a century; back in 1904, Elizabeth Magie patented The Landlord’s Game, a board game to prevent about the dangerous effects of monopolism. Years after that, she sold the patent to Parker Brothers, company which turned the game into the Monopoly we know nowadays: a board game that celebrates the huge economic accumulation and the bankruptcy of anyone… but yourself.

Commonspoly turns upside down the basic features of the traditional game to imagine a possible world based on cooperation instead of competition. But, how is it possible to play a board game in which the players have to find ways to work together? Well, the poles are melting, the cycles of the financial crises are shortening, the global unemployment rates are skyrocketing and we all have that hard to explain crepuscular feeling… In this game, we are running against time! And every player’s help will be more than welcomed. Anyway, it is not all bad news: we have some powerful community-based tools to struggle against apocalypse. Let’s get down to business, we have urban and rural, environmental and knowledge common goods to preserve!


History of the Commonspoly

17 ZEMOS98 festival’s Hackcamp

Commonspoly was launched as a proposal for a working group in the hackcamp of the 17th edition of ZEMOS98 festival: they had to develop a brand new set of rules for an antithetical Monopoly’s board game in just three days.

This group was facilitated by Guillermo Zapata. Vassilis Chryssos, Francisco Jurado, José Laulhé, Carmen Lozano, Rubén Martínez, Peter Matjašič, María G. Perulero,Virginia Benvenuti, Natxo Rodríguez, Igor Stokfisiewski, Menno Weijs, Carla Boserman and Mario Munera took part in developing the rules and regulations.  

Commons Fest

Later on, in May 2015, there was an exhibition about the game hosted by the Commons Fest in Athens. It was presented by Vassilis Chryssos and Carmen Lozano over there and the board game was played a few times, which resulted on a relevant improvement in the rules of the game.

Idea Camp: Building the City

From 23 to 25th of September, Commonspoly traveled from one side of Europe to the other to be played during the breaks of European Cultural Foundation’s Idea Camp near Stockholm, Sweden. It was the first time the game was finished by a group of people, who felt an unending immense joy during the rest of the days spent together.

Remix the Commons

As 2015 was fading away, the collective based in France Remix the Commons started a new line of work around the board game. They made some working groups to translate it into French and to experiment with other improvements on the functionalities of it. They showcased the improvements in the World Social Forum celebrated during August in Quebec, Canadá.

Culture, the City and the Commons

As a supplement of the encounter celebrated in Sevilla, Spain by the end of June hosted by ZEMOS98, the collective redesigned the whole features of the game, including the board, the cards and the tokens; and made a jump forward in simplifying some of the rules in order to improve the playability. Commonspoly was printed and given to the participants of the encounter. Related to the last version, Williams Sanchez was the logistic responsible and the graphic designer, Pablo Navarro made the remake of the drawings and Gema Valencia took the photos.

This version of the Commonspoly is just a fork of the game. What is a fork? It is a metaphor taken from the free software movement to name the different versions and developments coming out from the same original source to satisfy different needs. So this is just a fork of the Commonspoly board game licensed under Peer Production License. This license let any commoner, cooperative and non-profit organization to take the game and use it or remix it with no commercial use.


About ZEMOS98

ZEMOS98 is the collective developer of this fork of the Commonspoly board game available to see, share and remix in this webpage.

ZEMOS98 is a social enterprise which works and investigates on new media art, free culture and social innovation.

Get in contact with us at info@zemos98.org

Get to know us and the work we do at http://www.zemos98.org/

13 Comments so far

Philipp HänschkePosted on10:27 am - Nov 9, 2016

Hey everybody,

played the game at a workshop about Open Source Ecology in Berlin. Thomas Mehwald showed us Commonspoly at the end of his workshop. It was a lot of fun. I want to give it to every of my friends and my family. Thank you for this great work and the message you send with it.

Best regards

    ZEMOS98Posted on10:15 am - Apr 18, 2017

    Hi Phillipp!

    Thank you so much. We are working on improving the game. Maybe one of the options could be to even translate it to german! Do you think it will be the chance to gather a German community?

    Hugs and sorry for the delay answering!

    Colin MetzgerPosted on2:09 pm - Oct 18, 2017

    Klingt gut.
    Gibt es eine deutsche Variante? Falls sie erst im Vorbereitungsstadium ist, kann ich mich ev. der Übersetzer’innengruppe anschliessen.

SchneePosted on9:00 am - Jul 25, 2017

Bonjour, il y a-t-il une version française en préparation? super jeu en tout cas!

MalikPosted on11:10 am - Jul 25, 2017

Same question, do you have a French version ?
Thank you

DoïnaPosted on11:54 am - Jul 27, 2017

Bonjour à tous,

Un énorme “Bravo” pour cette initiative, ce jeu semble génial et j’espère pouvoir le trouver rapidement sur le marché, dans une version française éventuellement. Il était grand temps qu’on réapprenne a vivre dans le partage et la collaboration plutôt que dans l’individualisme et le jeu est une excellent méthode de retour aux valeurs.

Joanna DesseauxPosted on4:46 pm - Jul 27, 2017

I would like to buy the game (the “printed” material version).
Is this possible? on your website there is a post of october 2016 that says it is not shipped because of high demand.
Thank you so much and I hope we can play this soon, it looks amazing.

Rebecca BourgeoisPosted on11:39 am - Jul 28, 2017

I was unable to find any mention of the game being commercialized.
Is it on sale anywhere yet?
What’s the status of the company and game with Parker, who, I expect, aren’t too happy about this version?

Carlos SousaPosted on2:34 am - Jul 31, 2017

Me gustó mucho la idea del juego, ¡felicidades!
Me gustaría saber, ustedes lo traducirá al idioma portugués?

    Colin M.Posted on2:06 pm - Oct 18, 2017

    My English would be good enough to help translating it to Portuguese.
    O meo ingles era bon para ajudar traducir al idioma portugués.
    Tambêm falou portugués, mas não tan perfeito.
    A minha língua mãe es aleman.

Humbert de ButtetPosted on2:45 pm - Sep 15, 2017

Hi ! If you care, I can translate the game, so it can be sold in French speaking countries !

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