[p2p-research] P2P economics game design concepts

Alex Rollin alex.rollin at gmail.com
Sun Aug 9 12:55:51 CEST 2009

Play on monopply board.  Print stickers to go over ild property.  When  
you go around you are aiding with improvement of proprty.  As piwces  
are completed skills are gained that modifu doce roll so property is  
modified faster.  Coommm chest becomes skill nuilding set.    
Opportunity to weave narrative ingo interaction with the property.   
Like building new nanosolar (thos year)

On 9 aug 2009, at 03:17, Joseph Jackson <joseph.jackson at gmail.com>  

> Dear All, in preparation for a high profile conference I have  
> planned for July 29-31, 2010 I have found a game design team to  
> create a game suitable for distribution to various influential  
> thought leaders and the public at large; trying to teach P2P/ Open  
> Innovation concepts.
> If you have time please respond to me, joseph.jackson at gmail.com  or  
> go to this google group  http://groups.google.com/group/p2p-economics-game-design-brainstorm 
>   to communicate your ideas and criticisms to the game designers.
> They have sent me an initial framework I reproduce below.  First see  
> my original thinking based around the 1976 game Anti-Monopoly.  Then  
> see the developer response which presents an interesting twist on  
> Poker.  Then see Smari's brainstorming.  I need to decide on  
> something so as to fund some initial rule set development.  We could  
> try to design the whole thing in a P2P way, but I think it is useful  
> for me to retain a core team of paid developers if a product is to  
> be ready in time for next year's event.  Thanks
> "
> Peeropoly: The boardgame of abundance, prosperity, and plenty.
> After attending enough conferences and watching the eyes of venture  
> capitalists and other investors glaze over at the mention of Open  
> Source applied to biotechnology, it was clearly time to devise a  
> teaching tool to explain the economics of sharing nicely.
> The best way is to create a game so simple even a child, or a VC,  
> could understand! This project, to distill the essence of Peer  
> Production into an abstract set of rules, sharpens our own  
> understanding and forces us to convey the ideas clearly and  
> compellingly.
> History: The world’s most popular board game, the aptly and as we wi 
> ll see ironically named Monopoly, was, as it turns out, also origina 
> lly devised as a teaching tool. In 1974, Ralph Anspach invented the  
> Anti-Monopoly game. The incredible story of his decade long legal ba 
> ttle with Parker Brothers, a battle in which he uncovered the truth  
> about the history of Monopoly, that the game itself was an unfair mo 
> nopoly, stolen from an earlier game invented by Quakers and in the p 
> ublic domain for years, is summarized at http://www.antimonopoly.com/.
> His riveting book, The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle
> is highly recommended.
> Concept: Just as the original Monopoly predecessor, called the  
> Landlord’s Game and Prosperity, was intended to teach economics, nam 
> ely Henry George’s theory of the single tax on unearned rent from ap 
> preciation of land values that the landlord effortlessly and thus un 
> justly captured, Peeropoly will teach the emerging economics of Peer 
>  Production.
> At heart, Monopoly is supposed to be a satire of the excesses of  
> capitalism. Players are supposed to understand that the winner is  
> the “most successful villain.” In practice, the game has led to  
> an unintended glorification of monopoly. To correct this, Maggie Phi 
> llips, inventor of the first landlord’s game, created another called 
>  the Landlord’s Game and Prosperity. The key innovation was the the  
> choice to vote to change the rules of play by majority consensus at  
> any time during play. Once the players learned that the first rule s 
> et, the standard winner take all game, made one player rich but impo 
> verished the rest, they would logically vote to play under the secon 
> d set, in which all unearned gains were redistributed to the communi 
> ty. This was not anti-capitalist, players still kept income from hou 
> ses or improvements they made on the land, just not from the title i 
> tself.
> Mr. Anspach’s Anti-Monopoly game went through several versions. Orig 
> inally he created a game whose theme was to “bust the trust.” The  
> board started out in the hands of monopolists and the goal was to br 
> eak up ownership and create true free enterprise. Later, he modified 
>  the game so that players start in the normal Monopoly way, but can  
> play as monopolists or competitors, illustrating the difference betw 
> een a free market and a monopoly in real estate.
> Plan: The design process will itself be an instance of peer  
> production. Our game will draw on the previous concepts from the  
> Landlord’s game and Anti-Monopoly. We imagine a game in which player 
> s compete and cooperate to develop natural/energy, scientific, and c 
> ultural resources. Players can adopt a monopolist or a peer strategy 
> . They will acquire intellectual property certificates over resource 
> s such as the human genome, the broadcast spectrum, oil sites, etc.
> The following rules are speculative at this point: just  
> brainstorming. There are many things to work out depending on how we  
> devise the victory conditions. The Landlord’s game ended when the po 
> orest player obtained twice as much money as had been distributed to 
>  the individual players at the beginning, thus illustrating that pro 
> sperity had been achieved. The main fun of Monopoly is the ruthless  
> 0 sum drive to destroy your opponents. We have to figure out how to  
> capture this excitement in the context of rules that demonstrate the 
>  virtues of sharing nicely. Essentially the game must show that whil 
> e monopoly is good for the monopolists, it is very unstable and dang 
> erous for us all. Thus, game events such as oil shocks, avian flu, o 
> r crop devastation because of a monoculture’s vulnerability to pests 
> /pathogens, will demonstrate the danger of monopoly. Some way to mea 
> sure the player who creates the most wealth (is responsible for the  
> most development) rather than acquires the most, would be ideal.
> If you land on a space controlled by a monopolist you must pay rent  
> unless you try to infringe, at which point you “go to court” and  
> just like in real life, essentially “roll the dice” to determine  
> the outcome. If the monopolist doesn’t like the outcome, they can pa 
> y more and roll again–just like in real life where he who hires the  
> most lawyers usually wins. These legal battles can quickly cost a lo 
> t, meaning that players will typically just pay the tax/rent. If a m 
> onopoly is found invalid, the property is back in the public domain  
> and open for development under a Peer strategy. Monopolists will pay 
>  dearly to preserve control as each monopoly property pays large amo 
> unts of rent while a Peer owned property simply generates a modest a 
> mount of income per turn. However, Peers do not pay rent to one anot 
> her, and can benefit from improving their properties.
> Obviously we could quickly make a game that is too complicated which  
> defeats the purpose. Thus we are soliciting many ideas in the forums  
> and will narrow it down.
> Seeking: a core dedicated team of rule designers and testers is  
> needed. When the rules have been devised they need to be balanced  
> and play tested. This can be done by having a computer play the game  
> a few thousand times. There is actually quite a lot of probability  
> work involved in the original game as to which squares are most  
> often landed on and thus most valuable to own.
> We also need someone with artistic ability. There is a make your own 
>  “opoly” kit that can be a starting point. http://www.tdcgames.com/MYO 
> .htm
> Also a Microsoft satire game, called micropoly is at micropoly.com.  
> The project does not seem to be active but there is some material to  
> download and examine.
> Finally, we need some programmers on the team as it makes sense to  
> build a computer version of the game both for testing purposes and  
> eventual release with the prototype for a board game."
> "Joseph
> I have attached a short doc that gives an overview of what we are  
> trying
> to accomplish with the design including the method of play.
> Once you and your partners have reviewed and hopefully approved the
> approach we will refine the concept, produce simple test copies and
> proceed with the initial testing process. Yes and of course bill  
> you. If
> you have any trepidation to the direction we are taking now would be  
> the
> time to bring it up, as re-starting later will be time consuming.
> I will be visiting and exhibiter at GenCon in two weeks that has a PoD
> game production business. They would be able to produce small  
> numbers of
> games at a reasonable price to use in outreach. This would be a  
> possible
> option incase your plan to produce copies for the general population
> changes and you still want to follow through with the original  
> educational
> concept alone. Right now I know they have the capability to make Peer
> Poker yet I have not seen their products first hand. Quality is  
> always an
> issue with PoD producers so I’ll let you know what you’ll get for  
> your
> money."
> Proposed Peer Poker Design
> The authors were approached to create a board game that the clients  
> can use in business seminar and workshop settings to demonstrate the  
> relative advantages of different business entities working together  
> rather than in strict competition. Ideally, the game will be  
> straightforward to learn, yet provide the players meaningful choices  
> that, at least on an abstract level, show how shared resources can  
> sometimes be more beneficial to every stakeholder than would be  
> possible individually. Since the potential real life applications  
> are widely varied (e.g., open source software libraries, shared  
> production lines, published biotechnology research, group health  
> care, etc.), the in-game components should be kept relatively  
> generic, at least during the initial development. This way, the  
> clients can use the same game with groups in a variety of industries  
> or, if desirable, customize certain thematic details in derivative  
> works for use within individual target industries.
> Most seminars and workshops are likely to be held in group settings,  
> so the authors will work to create a game that scales well with  
> three to eight players. In larger group settings, the facilitators  
> can divide the participants into teams that need not be equal (to  
> simulate smaller and larger entities within the industry or other  
> customized scenarios). Playing time should be under two hours, and  
> enjoyable enough to keep the primary target demographic (investors,  
> executives and decision makers who value their time) interested and  
> engaged. In addition, the game will be tailored to also appeal to  
> wide demographic (such as families), because larger print runs would  
> greatly reduce per unit production cost allowing for a financial  
> return  in addition to the game's instructive benefits.
> Expected Components
> Paper Money (enough to have a working but limited in-game economy,  
> in a realistic size for easier handling)
> Loan Documents (notes in one or two denominations for simplicity,  
> and similar in size to the paper money)
> Markers (winks, chips or cubes) in eight colors (probably eight of  
> each, to represent the entities' claims on projects)
> Cards (probably around 100, representing combinations of resources  
> such as ideas, talent, experience, research, equipment, technology,  
> popular or political support, etc. over a range of values and costs)
> Board (with spaces for cards and markers to keep track of developing  
> and completed projects and claims, to help determine returns on  
> investments when projects are completed, to give bonuses or exact  
> penalties for investing in certain areas and so on)
> Rules
> Box Inserts and/or Zipper Bags (for keeping components tidy)
> Box
> Brief Description of Play
> Game play will feature a mix of competition and cooperation. Players  
> (or teams) representing investors and/or company decision makers  
> will take turns using money to pay for a limited number of actions.  
> Some of the possible actions include:
> Purchase a card from a shuffled deck into your hand
> Play a card from your hand onto the board to open, advance or close  
> projects
> Replace an existing card on the board to improve your own projects  
> (or possibly sabotage a competing project)
> Invest in or claim exclusive rights to resources and/or projects
> Pay royalties to use resources owned by others
> Repay loans (whether to a bank or to other players)
> Release exclusive claims (doesn't cost money, but may be used in  
> negotiations or to retrieve a marker for future use elsewhere)
> Projects close when all the spaces representing that project are  
> filled with cards, and the closure of the second projects represents  
> reaching a deadline. At that point, all projects in a given area  
> become due, whether completed or not, and returns on investment and  
> losses are determined according to how they compare. A system  
> roughly comparable to Poker is used to evaluate project rankings at  
> the deadline. Projects can outshine one another by having better  
> attributes:
> More valuable resources (like higher cards in Poker)
> Synergy due to resources of matching value working well together  
> (like two, three, four or five cards of the same value in different  
> types of resource)
> Clear progression (like straights)
> Strength in a particular area (like flushes)
> Combining two or more of the above (like straight flushes)
> Players may negotiate with one another about where or how to  
> strategically invest in projects, loan money to one another, form  
> alliances, make claims, and release rights. But since cards held in  
> hands represent potential resources and technology that do not yet  
> exist, the contents of players' hands may not be revealed to each  
> other.
> Among the projects that came due, returns on investments are  
> determined by consulting a simple look-up table in the rules. Then,  
> the best project takes the largest share of the returns on the  
> investments, and the second best takes some smaller share. Under  
> performing projects get nothing. Returns or costs are shared  
> proportionally among the stakeholders.
> 1. Example: Player A has exclusive rights to both the best and the  
> second best projects. All of the returns from these projects go to  
> Player A.
> 2. Example: Players A, B and D are invested 50%, 25% and 25%,  
> respectively in the best project. Player A gets half of the best  
> project returns, and players B and D each get half the remainder.
> 3. Example: Player C has exclusive rights to a project that does not  
> pay off at the deadline. Player C gets no money.
> After investment returns are paid, the resources from the two  
> projects that closed (even if they were not among the highest  
> ranked) are removed from the board. Markers  are either returned to  
> their owners or transferred to other projects depending upon where  
> they were on the board.
> As in the real business world, success is measured by how well each  
> player or team uses their money and resources to generate more  
> money. At the end of the game, players or teams are ranked based  
> upon how well they did with what they had. Any positive return is  
> good, but more is obviously better.
> Smari:
> " Have finally made it through the Peer Poker proposal, and it seems
> very lacking. It makes certain structural assumptions that I think  
> don't
> readily apply within the P2P or open source contexts. The fact that
> loans, claims and rights are built seems a bit weird.
>  An alternative proposal... I've played a number of roleplaying and
> tabletop board games in my time so I can see how this kind of game
> dynamic might play out, but it's just a thought that came to me as I  
> was
> reading the other proposal.
>  Each player represents a village. The village has a size on the scale
> from 1-20. Depending on the size of the village they have a certain
> amount of time resource units that can be allocated and reallocated  
> each
> turn. These can be traded between players, but the total number in  
> play
> is always the sum of the sizes of all the villages.
>  At the beginning of each turn players draw cards from a deck. The
> cards have three types: Resources, events, and technologies.
>  A resource needs time units allocated to it in order be used.
>  Events can be good or bad, and represent the will of the villagers,
> natural disasters, political situations or changes in prosperity.
>  Technologies need to be put into play in order to be used. When
> they're put into play they can be put into the player's area, granting
> him a monopoly over the technology, or into the commons, allowing
> everybody to use it.
>  Here's where it gets interesting.
>  Each village has a needs card with tokens on it. There are six bars
> representing six measures of prosperity: Exposure (too hot, too cold),
> hunger, thirst, injury/illness, luxury and happiness. Each bar has  
> five
> places on it (see attachment) - hereafter known as Very High, High,
> Adequate, Low and Very Low. At the beginning of the game each player  
> has
> tokens on all the middle row... and five cards on hand.
>  Now consider a game:
>   Player 1 has five cards on hand:
>        - Technology: Irrigation
>                        - doubles food production in farms
>        - Resource: Copper mine
>                        - requires 5 labor
>                        - provides +1 luxury
>        - Technology: Genetics
>                        - doubles health production from hospitals
>        - Event: Drought
>                        - -3 thirst to all players.
>        - Resource: Army
>                        - requires 5 labor
>                        - Can inflict -1 health to another village
>  Player 2 likewise has five cards on hand:
>        - Resource: Comedians
>                        - requires 1 labor
>                        - Adds 1 resistance to happiness drops.
>        - Technology: Insulation
>                        - Doubles exposure protection in housing
>        - Event: Forest fire
>                        - Pick two players; they get -2 exposure each.
>        - Event: Pandemic flu outbreak
>                        - All players get -4 health
>        - Resource: Well
>                        - Requires 1 labor
>                        - provides +1 water
> Token states can be traded (I'll give you one water in exchange for  
> one
> luxury), and so on...
> This would need substantial playtesting of course, but how does the
> basic idea strike you?"    - Resource: Well
>                        - Requires 1 labor
>                        - provides +1 water
> Token states can be traded (I'll give you one water in exchange for  
> one
> luxury), and so on...
> This would need substantial playtesting of course, but how does the
> basic idea strike you?" ou?"
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