Serious Fun: Games Beyond Capital

Designing a Game to Promote Critical Computing Practices Beyond Capital

A workshop at Aarhus 2015 Conference on Critical Alternatives (August, 17-21)

Many of us grew up playing a game called Monopoly—it was about property, and winning other people’s money and land. But is that really the world we want? What if there were a different game?

The original version of the game that became Monopoly was designed to reward very different behavior. Its aim was to be critique of capital. The creator, Elizabeth Magie Philips, called it The Landlord’s Game. Like Ms. Philips, we want a different game, one that will reward a different set of alternative, critical values. So, we need to articulate the different values that we want to inform our future. Toward which values would we re-orient what motivates future societies? How would we institutionalize these values in our future world? What kinds of practices and relationships will they encourage? If these values were to motivate people in a game, what would the game look like?

At the Conference on Critical Alternatives, we want to make a different game—and we hope you will help create it.

The workshop will build upon a collective discussion of suggestions from participants about the appropriate set of values promoting critical alternatives, as articulated in position papers (maximum 1000 words). In these papers, participants will make an argument for the inclusion of three values they think central for a future society, define these values, and describe their relations to actual computing practices. Group-work will then focus on how pursuit of these computing-related values can be built into, institutions and measures, and thus how these can be embodied in “chance” game activities. At the end of the workshop these game ideas will be combined in a mock-up of a Beyond Capital, forward-looking board game.

Those willing to participate should send their position paper (maximum 1000 words) to the workshop organizers at the email address beyondcapital at

Important dates:

  • Deadline for position paper submission (max 1000 words): May 22nd.
  • Notification to authors: June 7th.
  • Deadline for early registration to the conference: June 25th.

More information at

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