Announcement: We made it! Thank you so much everyone for your support!
Did you miss the Kickstarter? You can pre-order/order Rise Up here.
Thanks again. We’re so excited to get you this game about fighting for what you believe in.
Lead a march of thousands of people. Write a protest song that goes viral. Fight for what you believe in. Rise Up is a cooperative board game about building people power and taking on oppressive systems to create change. It’s ethically manufactured and made by the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives.
In each game of Rise Up, players take creative actions to fight for victory. Everyone wins or loses together. The game weaves a story about your movement, which can either be based in reality (like stopping an oil pipeline) or fictional (like fighting for dragon rights). But “the System” is hard at work too, maneuvering to crush your movement through tactics like setting up surveillance, making arrests, or causing infighting.
We live in an era that’s filled with opportunities to engage more people in movements for social justice. Rise Up is an entertaining way to bring people together, activate our imaginations, and inspire dialogue about the change we need to create a more just, healthy world. Players have fun while also discovering activist strategies and tactics in an exciting, participatory setting. There’s a deep history of board games being used for social justice struggles, even if that history is not well known. We wish to continue that history.
A great choice for game nights with friends and family, Rise Up is an alternative to many mainstream board games that feature themes of conquest, exploitation, and warfare. It’s a strategy game that can only be won through player collaboration.
And we’ve done something innovative: just flip the board over, and you’ll be able to play Rise Up Simplified, a version that’s quicker to learn and that has simpler rules. Rise Up Simplified is appropriate for younger kids and people who have less experience with games. It can be played with co-workers, in workshops, trainings, after hours at conferences or retreats, and in community organizing settings where time is of the essence.
At the start of each game, players come up with a movement they want to create. It can be serious or silly. (Such as “fighting for a living wage” or “free pizza for everyone.") Then the game naturally teases out the story of your movement as you go. Players have to gain supporters in order to play Movement Cards like “We organize a massive march!”, “General strike,” “Building strong communities,” and “Someone writes a protest song.” These cards allow players to build their movement, take on the System, and help their fellow players gain supporters and resources.
The goal is to grow your movement power in different places across the board. But watch out, because the System is fighting back. With cards like “Smear campaign against our movement” or “Rising wave of conservatism”, the System will make you lose supporters and resources while it cements its own power.
Players lose if they run out of supporters or if the System gains too many victories. Players win if they score more victories than the System.
Rise Up also has unique cooperative game mechanics that keep players interested and engaged during the whole game, even when it’s not their turn.
We’re dedicated to manufacturing Rise Up in an ethical way. It will be produced in the United States, and nearly 100% of the money spent on the manufacturing will go to a worker-owned company using environmentally friendly resources whenever possible. This is groundbreaking for board games—as far as we know, it has never been done before for a game of this scale or scope. Read more about our ethical manufacturing process here!
All of our backer rewards are on the right column on this page. (Or, if you're on mobile, at the top of the screen, click the "Rewards" tab.) These are different levels of benefits you can receive for making a pledge to the Rise Up campaign. These range from stickers, to posters, the game itself, custom resources, and more. To choose one of the backer levels, simply click the pledge box of your choice.
If all you want is the game, choose the $49 level. Please send us a message if you have any questions!
Do you want to give Rise Up as a holiday gift? The game won’t be printed until early 2017, but if you back the project, we’ll provide you with a certificate for the holidays that will let your giftee know their game will be shipped to them when Rise Up is released!
If we reach our base goal of $35,000, we will be able to manufacture Rise Up. After that, the below “stretch goals” are further goals that will allow us to do even more with the game. This ranges from developing more expansion packs to creating a Spanish version of the game. Check them out!
If we're fortunate enough to reach this level, we'll release more goals!
Rise Up is created and published by the TESA Collective (The Toolbox for Education and Social Action), a worker-owned cooperative specializing in educational programs, social justice games, and movement-building tools. We are the makers of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, a game of skill and solidarity for the growing co-op movement, as well as Loud & Proud, a fast-paced social justice word association game.
Co-opoly has been played in over thirty countries and by tens of thousands of people, in homes, community centers, organizing spaces, classrooms, universities, and beyond. The game has been used for fun game nights as well as education and advocacy for the cooperative movement.
TESA’s members have developed workshops, educational programs, games, and resources for cooperatives and social justice organizations. We have all been involved in community organizing and movement building within student organizations, labor and workers’ rights groups, anti-war struggles, and more.
Graphic Designer: Molly McLeod. Molly McLeod is a designer, artist, and educator based in Oakland, California. She helps nonprofits and organizations working toward social justice communicate more effectively and design awesome things. TESA previously worked with Molly on the graphic design of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with her again.
Artist: Design Action Collective. We’re excited to team up with Design Action Collective, a social justice, worker-owned, and union design and visual communications studio based in Oakland, California. Design Action is making beautiful, custom art for Rise Up’s cards, board, and box. Innosanto Nagara is bottom-lining the illustration work. He is the author and illustrator of the children’s books A is for Activist, Counting on Community, and the upcoming My Night in the Planetarium.
Printer: Community Printers. Since 1977, Community Printers have been engaged in high-quality commercial printing. They are also a worker-owned cooperative. They are especially proud of their history of community involvement, social activism, and commitment to environmentally friendly printing. Community Printers and the rest of the Rise Up team have been collaborating closely to figure out how to manufacture Rise Up so that it is accessible to the public.
We’re proud to have created Rise Up in a way that allows it to be adapted and expanded. These expansion packs are add-ons to Rise Up. An expansion pack consists of extra game components that allow you to build onto the complete game you'll already have. And because these expansion packs are downloadable, you can print out as many copies as you want. Both expansion packs can be played with the standard and the simplified versions of the game.
Expansion Pack #1: Secret Agendas. This expansion pack is for those who want to spice up their cooperative game with a bit of competition. With the Secret Agendas expansion pack, some players can lose while others can win. Each player will have their own secret goal that they will have to accomplish by the end of the game, which will cause tensions between the players’ common goals. If a player doesn’t accomplish their agenda, and even if their movement wins, that player will lose the game.
Expansion Pack #2: Shock to the System.This expansion pack is for those that are ready for another challenge. In Rise Up, the System reacts as your movement gains power. Usually, you always draw these from the System deck. Shock to the System offers an additional deck of cards that ramp up these reactions with new major events and game mechanics, which will force players to strategize in unique ways.
Rise Up is a fun game first, and it can also be used as a powerful education and organizing tool. To take this a step further, we’re creating an education kit to go alongside Rise Up, perfect for classrooms, organizing spaces, workshops, trainings, and even for self-education. The Education Kit is a digital download, and it will be suitable for both adults and youth. It consists of activities and discussion guides that go alongside playing Rise Up. It also has interactive and engaging worksheets that help participants dive into the subject matter even further.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a platform that allows us to fundraise by offering people who back our project various rewards: anywhere from stickers and posters to the game itself to custom materials. You get to help make Rise Up come to life, get awesome things in return, follow the behind-the-scenes of its creation, and help influence its development.
What happens if you reach your goal? Should I still back the project?
Absolutely! Our initial goal of $35,000 is the bare minimum we need to manufacture Rise Up. However, if we're able to raise more, we'll be able to accomplish far more with the game, including produce more copies, create awesome expansion packs, translate the game into Spanish, and more. Check out our "stretch goals" for more information!
What if we’re an organization that wants to pledge, but we need to contribute through a 501(c)3?
We can make this happen! Please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
TESA has been distributing games since 2011. Combined, our team has successfully run and fulfilled four crowdfunding campaigns.
However, any project has its risks, and like with any small team, there’s the possibilities of unexpected delays. While we don’t anticipate any, if we do encounter any delays, we’ll make sure to communicate about them clearly. Right now, the game is virtually complete. We’re in the final stages: working with the artist and the designer to incorporate the artwork throughout the game, which is why some of the artwork you see in some of the components currently are from Innosanto's other projects, with his permission.
If we reach our goal, we’ll be able to create a beautifully designed board game about making social change in the world. We can’t wait to share it with you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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