NOTE: This Kickstarter is for individuals. However, we are also doing a contribution drive for cooperatives and organizations, who can also receive very exciting things in return for helping to make Co-opoly happen! This can be viewed on our website.
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Support Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives on Kickstarter - an exciting game & resource for the co-op movement! http://kck.st/ojQVs2
Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives is a creative and exciting educational game designed for the growing cooperative movement. Games have been proven to be unique resources that shape the way people learn, work, and interact with one another, but Co-opoly is more than just a board game. It is an innovative way for aspiring and existing cooperators, as well as other interested parties, to learn about co-ops and to practice cooperation. People who have played the game call it “fun and engaging” as well as “a great teaching tool about how to build and sustain” cooperatives.
In Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, players must collaborate to found and run a democratic business. In order to survive as individuals and to strive for the success of their cooperative, players make tough choices regarding big and small challenges while putting their teamwork abilities to the test.
This is an exciting game of skill and solidarity, where everyone wins – or everybody loses. Will the Point Bank continue to dominate the players’ lives, or will they break free and take control by jump-starting the movement for a truly democratic and cooperative economy? By playing Co-opoly, players will learn about the unique benefits, challenges, and operations of the cooperative world - as well as the skills needed to participate in a co-op!
New Co-opoly board...
The first available version of Co-opoly will be the worker cooperative edition. We will create future editions of Co-opoly for more types of cooperatives - including grocer co-ops, artisan co-ops, housing co-ops, and others. These different iterations will address the specific characteristics of each type of cooperative. In this way, we aim to develop a series of games spanning the vast cooperative world. Each new edition (or "expansion pack") will be available at a very low cost, as the same board will be able to be used for each version of Co-opoly - they'll just need new cards.
In addition, each copy of the game will come with extra educational resources – such as lesson plans, co-op information packets, and much more – to enhance the potential for Co-opoly to cultivate the cooperative movement.
Co-opoly has been in continuous development during the past three years. It has evolved and improved based on input from cooperators, cooperative allies, and, just as importantly, from people who were being introduced to cooperatives for the very first time.
Now, we have reached the point where we can make the final push to launch Co-opoly. However, we need to collaborate with the co-op community and its supporters in order to make this happen.
We are seeking to launch Co-opoly in time for the 2012 - International Year of the Cooperative, and it is our intention to work with individual co-ops, co-op organizations, cooperators, and co-op supporters to make this possible.
This Kickstarter is for individuals who want to contribute to the completion of Co-opoly. If you are a co-op or organization that wants to make a contribution, you can also do so by visiting our website here. You can also get really wonderful things in return! For example, depending of the level of financial sponsorship, co-ops and co-op support organizations can receive benefits like appearing in Co-opoly, receiving free copies of the game, placing a paragraph about their group in the instruction booklet, having their logo appear on Co-opoly's cover, and much more. Go here to find out more about sponsorship.
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According to Cultivate.Coop: "A cooperative (co-op) is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise... Cooperatives exist in every industry, every geographic area, in rural and urban areas, serving rich and poor. It is a way of doing business as old as human life. Co-ops are owned by consumers, producers/farmers, workers, businesses/organizations, municipalities and governments, and other co-ops. " Read more about co-ops here.
There are many types of cooperatives, including: worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, farmer cooperatives, housing cooperatives, cooperatives that are banks (Credit Unions), hybrid (or "multi-stakeholder") cooperatives, healthcare cooperatives, artist cooperatives, and many more!
Cooperatives are not a form of charity, they are a means of self-help and solidarity.
Read the seven cooperative principles that guide the cooperative movement here.
Co-opoly (worker co-op edition) is close to
completion, but we still have some final important tasks to complete in order
to make it a terrific game experience as well as an essential resource for the co-op
Tweaks to the Game Mechanics
Playing Co-opoly is a lot of fun, and during its years of trial runs, it has also proven to create great learning opportunities for both novice and experienced cooperators. We take feedback seriously. Therefore, throughout the upcoming months, we will be making adjustments to Co-opoly, testing it further, and refining the game to ensure that it meets our high standards for both enjoyment and education.
Building Educational Tools to Accompany Co-opoly (workshops, pamphlets, lesson plans, etc.)
Our goal is to not only make Co-opoly a great game but also for it to serve as a useful tool for the cooperative movement. Therefore, we are designing the game so that it can either stand alone or work in conjunction with other educational materials.
Each version of the game will come with lesson plans, workshops, discussion questions, information packets, and more for download - while a print introduction, “What is a Co-op?” will be included in each copy.
And just like Co-opoly, the educational resources we design will employ interactive and democratic pedagogical principles! The game, as well as its accompanying materials, can be utilized by:
- Groups of friends, family, and peers in informal settings
- Aspiring cooperatives (to practice cooperation and explore potential issues their co-ops might face, or just for fun and to build a sense of community)
- Existing cooperatives (to train and educate new as well as existing members, to practice new ideas and work through issues, or just for fun)
- Workshops and conferences
- Schools and universities
- And many others!
We will also encourage cooperators and educators to design their own teaching tools to go along with the game - and to share these with other cooperators and educators using Co-opoly’s website.
The first version of Co-opoly that will be available is the worker cooperative edition. In addition, we’re planning to create other versions for consumer and grocer cooperatives as well as for multi-stakeholder (“hybrid”) co-ops, social co-ops, housing co-ops, student co-ops, and so forth. Our hope is to actively involve a number of co-ops and co-op organizations in their development. If you or your organization is interested in participating in the creation of these versions, please get in touch with us!
Interested in Contributing via Other Means?
We’re happy to hear your ideas! Send us an e-mail and we can start chatting.
We are hoping to raise a total of $12,000 - $17,000 dollars to complete and launch Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives via both our Kickstarter and from co-ops as well as co-op organizations. This money will be essential for:
- 1) printing and producing the game as well as the accompanying educational materials (printing and packaging board games is expensive, and we are intending to produce a quantity large enough where the purchase price can remain very affordable),
- 2) creating and testing Co-opoly's accompanying educational materials;
- 3) creating relationships with co-ops, co-op organizations, and other groups to help use Co-opoly for spreading the co-op mission;
- 4) and more.
Of course, if we are able to raise more, we will be able to produce the expansion packs quicker, develop more educational resources, print more copies, and generally make Co-opoly a more powerful resource.
Co-opoly will be published by The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA - toolboxfored.org), an education-based worker-owned organization. TESA also recently designed and launched Cultivate.Coop (http://www.cultivate.coop), a very successful online hub for sharing knowledge and resources on cooperatives, as well as a place to practice cooperation and build educational tools for the co-op community.
The members of TESA have developed a number of workshops,
educational programs, and resources on cooperatives and cooperation throughout
the years. We have all been involved in previous cooperative endeavors as well.
TESA has been collaborating with Molly McLeod on the game design and mechanics.
Molly is an art director and graphic designer who “saves good causes from bad
design” and can be found at MollyMcLeod.com.
Getting In Touch
To get in touch with us to ask questions about Co-opoly, for clarification on this Kickstarter, to speak with us about contributing to Co-opoly, to write a piece for a blog or news outlet, or to inquire about being involved in developing future editions of Co-opoly - please send an e-mail to info AT coopolygame DOT com.
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Below are testimonials from
people who have played early versions of Co-opoly, and their take on it as a
game as well as an educational resource!
“One of the most interesting outcomes of my game play was the interaction with the players outside the game mechanics. Specifically, the discussion around elements and practicalities of [cooperatives]... All in all, Co-opoly was a fun and interactive method to learn about [co-ops]!”
“Co-opoly is to co-ops as Rockband for Wii is to actually playing music... it puts you in the roles and gives you a feel for it.”
“Co-opoly was a valuable learning experience. By playing the game, interacting with the other players in decision making, and talking with the other players during game play, I received a great introduction to [cooperatives].... This showed some of the major economic benefits of a cooperative to its members.”
“Co-opoly is a great game!... Instead of competing as teams or as individuals, we worked together the entire time... Co-opoly really succeeded in teaching cooperation and about cooperatives.”
[Co-opoly is] a multi-player game with a tight framework and balances both the ideals of what a [cooperative] working experience is like along with the real world challenges and bonuses that can effect the [co-op] and individuals.
I really like the fact that when a "world
card" is drawn the players must think about not only themselves but the
good of the [co-op]... It produces both an inner conflict for each individual
player (what's best for me? what's best for the [co-op]? Do I fight for just me
or all of us? Is it my turn to fight for what I want or stand back?) and forces
the players to talk out these decisions with each other...
I learned, I debated, and I had fun. What else could you ask for?”
- (60 days)