Common play with us #5

Can serious games help us to reimagine our political and economic system?

Can serious games help us to reimagine our political and economic system? How can we use them to make social themes tangible? Can we transform our city while playing? During our Common Play With Us! game nights we aim to discover the potential of serious games to help us reclaim the urban commons.

In previous editions, the enthusiasm of the participants and the potential of serious games were strongly evident. Serious games raise awareness about specific topics, foster critical thinking and facilitate rational decision making and group consensus. We want to play games and share the tools that we discover by co-creating an online repository of serious games to talk about the urban commons.

What dynamics will emerge if we reclaim ownership of public assets? How can we work together in a convergent way? And how do we make sure all of this is fun? These questions will be centre stage in the new editions of Common Play With Us. Starting this January, we will use our events to play-test and discuss games that could fit this curated game repository. During these evenings, we will focus specifically on games that help us organise the city as a commons.

In this edition, the future-thinking game Le Grand Jeu will be played to discuss the wide range of narratives that can craft the future. Do you want to shape all your utopias for one night? Common play with us on the 23rd of January! The doors are open to everyone!


20:00 – Welcome by Socrates Schouten (Chamber of Commons)

20:10 – Introduction to Le Grand Jeu by the philosopher, independent researcher and artist Federico Bonelli

20:20 – Game time!

21:20 – Reflections on game experiences with Frederico Bonelli and Chris Julien (research director Waag)

21:40 – Talk & drinks

Le Grand Jeu is a game co-designed in May-July 2016 by an expert group of artists, engineers, designers and activists leaded by Federico Bonelli. The aim of the game is to help design a situation where some narratives about the future of our society can be told, crafted and eventually discussed in a positive way. It can assess and narrate new scenarios for concepts like alternative currency, sustainability, and circular economy.

Federico Bonelli‘s main expertise is creative research. He has a theoretical background as philosopher: he studied science (chaos, probability, thermodynamics), history of mathematics and art. He likes to cultivate practical skills along with his major interests and have experiences in different fields of multimedia research and creation. He has built and managed creative teams in new media productions since 1995. 

English is spoken during this event (but not exclusively).

These are some of the games that we have played at previous Common Play With Us game nights: 

If you have a game, or ideas for a game, that discuss or emulate urban commons, do let us know! Please contact

About Commons

Commons are shared resources, managed by a community from the perspective of sustainability, inclusiveness and public added value. They offer room for bottom-up initiative and citizens’ own directing. In the Commons Lab, Waag generates insight into contemporary commons and brings new forms of commons into practice. Common Play With Us 2020 game nights are mainly focused on Urban Commons. These aim to reimagine the spaces of the city as sustainable places for collaboration and collective ownership.

This edition of Common Play With Us! is financed by BankGiro Lottery Fund and the European Cultural Foundation.