In times like these, we need as many tools and games that inspire, educate, and motivate as possible, because there are a metric
buttload boatload of issues that we need to move forward on, ranging from basic human rights to deforestation to clean energy and clean water. We need more support for the idea that when people join together, they can build a movement able to take on systems that oppress them and extract private profits at public and personal expense.
Sometimes the odds are quite daunting. On the one side, there’s “The System,” which has the power of capital and other resources, plus economic and legal maneuvering, not to mention the momentum that any currently dominant force carries with it — the “status quo” effect. On the other side, there are people — individuals — who may actually have the most to lose, but who also have the least amount of structured resources, whether that’s access to financial support or legal support or just plain knowledge. But even when the cards are stacked against us, it’s possible to take on The System and eventually win, through the power of the social movement — people power — which can leverage the talent and resources of many in order to bring about change for all.
A new board game from the folks who created Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, aims to be not only a fun strategic game to play, but to also act as “a creative tool to inspire conversations about activism in our own communities.” It also happens to be ethically produced, with nearly 100% of the production costs going to US worker-owned cooperatives, and most of the components are made from recycled, Forest Stewardship Council certified, and sustainable materials.
Rise Up: The Game of People and Power, is a cooperative board game, which means that everyone is on the same team and either wins or loses together, and is said to have “unique cooperative game mechanics” to keep players engaged throughout the whole game, not just when it’s their turn.
“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.
“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.”
“Build your movement. Beat the system. A board game about people winning together—even when the cards are stacked against us.”
Rise Up can be played with 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, and a game requires about an hour and a half to complete. The cost is $45, and additional expansion packs, as well as a series of posters, are available. More information is available at the TESA Collective website.
[Image: Molly McLeod]