The game is fairly easy for anyone familiar
with playing board games, but take care to explain the rules of
the game and how to play. It may help the players if you write
the rules on a flip chart or use an overhead transparency or hand
out copies of the rules of the game.
The game works best with a maximum of 10 people playing as citizens,
and there should be an equal number of citizens in each city at
the start of the game. If you have say 16 participants, you could
get the bankers to work in pairs. If you work with a larger group
it is best to run two games. In this case, don't forget to multiply
all the materials by two, and be sure to have a co-facilitator
to be responsible for the second game!
A good piece of advice: before you try the game with your group,
play it with friends and neighbours! You will then feel more secure
about giving the instructions and getting it to run smoothly.
Note: The people responsible for collecting the taxes and managing
the cities' funds have been called "bankers". In reality
a banker does not perform these functions. The term is used because
it is the word used in many popular board games. If you feel that
the term "banker" is not the most appropriate, choose
another instead, for instance, "finance administrator".
Suggestions for follow-up
Why not encourage people to explore their ideas about what the
Equaland of their futures might be like? See the activity "Our
Alternatively, the group may like to do some fieldwork and seek out the footprints of Egoland and Equaland in their own locality. The activity, "Trailing diversity" in the all different all equal education pack describes a method for doing this.
The rules of the game
Number of Players: Between 7 and 13. Three people take the roles
of bankers. At the start of the game there should be an equal
number of players in each city.
Objective of the game: The winner is the player who has the
most money at the end of the game.
How to play
- Have three people take the roles of bankers: one banker for
city A, one for city B and one Game Banker.
- Half of the players have red counters and half have blue
- At the start, players are divided into two equal groups.
Each group has equal numbers of "red" and "blue"
players. One group will travel round the path in city A, the
other group will travel round the path in city B.
- All players start from the "start and salary" square.
- During the game a player can only change city if he/she stops
in the "chance to change" square.
- Every player starts with a salary according to their colour:
- Blue players: 500
- Red players: 100
- Throw the die to decide who starts. Highest throw starts,
then each player in turn, anticlockwise round the circle.
- On their turn, each player throws the dice and moves forward
the indicated number of squares along the path in their own
city. When a player lands on a square, s/he reads the instruction
out aloud, and complies with the instruction.
- Note: a player who follows an instruction to move backwards
stops when they have reached the target square. They do not
comply with the instruction on this second square.
- If a payment is due and the player does not have enough money
to pay, s/he stays on the square and becomes a beggar.
- Two or more players may occupy the same square at the same
Each time a player passes the "tax payment" square,
s/he has to pay tax. (Players pay as they pass over the square,
even if they do not land on it). The amount of tax to be paid
depends on the player's salary and on the city.
||40% if salary of 500 or more
||10% if salary is 100 or less
||10% irrespective of salary
Note: An unemployed person with no unemployment benefit pays
An unemployed person who receives benefit pays 10% of the unemployment
benefit, irrespective of the city.
The tax payment is paid to the City Banker of the respective
city. (Players in Equaland to Equaland's banker and players on
Egoland to Egoland's banker).
Each time a player passes the "start and salary" square
(you do not have to stop on the square, only pass it), s/he receives
their respective salary from the Game Banker.
If the player is unemployed, and if the city has a social security
system, they receive unemployment benefit from the City Banker.
Chance for Change
Any player who lands on the "chance for change" square
may choose whether to change city or not (change from Equaland
to Egoland or from Egoland to Equaland). In order to change, a
player needs only to announce his/her decision to the rest of
the players and the bankers. On their next turn, they move on
round the path in the other city.
A player who changes city continues to receive the same salary
as before, but they pay taxes according to the new city's tax
City Council Meetings
All players who are in the city attend city council meetings.
The meeting is an opportunity to make changes (if any) in the
The meeting can take place at every 5th payment of
taxes. The City Bankers keep a record of how many people have
passed the tax payment square in their city. When every fifth
person has passed the square, s/he calls a meeting.
Players in the city can decide whether they want to hold a meeting
The game stops during a city council meeting and the players
of the other city have to wait until the meeting is finished before
resuming the game.
Players have 5 minutes to decide the needs of the city and any
changes in policy. Policy options are given on the replacement
cards and the citizens can refer to a copy of the replacement
cards sheet to know which policies are "on the agenda"
(that is, the options they can choose).
To change a policy, players have to buy a replacement card out
of the city's taxes. The cost is stated on each card. The City
Council can only make changes that it can afford. The City Banker
pays the amount due to the Game Banker. Citizens can decide to
change as many policies as they wish, but they have to be able
to afford them.
A city council that is in financial trouble can decide to "sell
back" one or more replacement cards to the Game Banker. The
"buy-back" price is 50% of the original cost.
Rich individuals may, if they wish, contribute to the city funds
in order to buy replacement cards.
The banker uses a very small amount of the "Blu-tac"
to stick the replacement card onto the board over the agreed square.
There are seventeen replacement cards that represent policies
that the City Council can adopt at a council meeting. Replacement
cards are purchased from the Game Banker at the cost printed on
the card. Once purchased, the City Banker sticks the card(s) onto
the board, over an existing square as decided by the citizens.
Any square may be "replaced". If, at the time of replacement,
there is a player on that square, s/he does not comply with the
new instructions. The new policy only comes in force when the
next player lands on that square.
At a City Council meeting citizens/players decide the city policy
and may purchase one or more replacement cards. All cards must
be paid for.
A player who has no money to pay their taxes or other payments
stays on the square where they have just landed and becomes a
"beggar". However, if there is a home for the homeless
in the city, beggars may choose to sleep there, if they wish to,
instead of on the square where they landed. Moving does not release
a beggar from his/her debts.
S/he can beg for money from every player who lands on the square
where s/he is sitting. It is up to each player whether or not
they give money to the beggar. When the 'beggar' has enough money
to pay their dues they wait for their next turn, pay their dues,
throw the die and move on.
Beggars throw the die every alternate time their turn comes
round. It is a chance they take:
|Throw a 6
||Find 50 Ems in a rubbish bin.
|Throw a 5
||Collect 20 empty beer bottles and get 50 Ems
for the deposits - if the city has a recycling centre!
|Throw a 4
||The next person who passes you gives you 10
|Throw a 3
||You got drunk and sleep through your next turn.
|Throw a 2
||You sleep in the park and find a 10 Em note
under the bench. If the city has renovated the park, you find
|Throw a 1
||You get robbed. Hand the next donation you receive over
to the City Banker.
A beggar's winnings are paid by the City Banker of the city
in which the beggar lives.
When does the game end?
Players decide how to end the game before they start. They can
choose one of the following options:
- when the first player completes 20 rounds
- after an agreed length of time, for example, 45 minutes
Note: the game will automatically end if the city goes bankrupt.
The winner is the person with the most money at the end of the