Gaming for the commons: online repository

The outcome of our Gaming for the commons research is here: check out the online serious game repository!

Do you want to learn more about the commons? Serious gaming is a great way to do so!

The outcome of our research in the Gaming for the commons project is here: check out the online serious games repository for getting familiar with the commons.

Gaming for the commons

The current wave of democratic disquiet and threats such as surveillance capitalism and climate change, ask for strong civic response. We need a re-imagination of society and our environment as commons: collectively designed and maintained goods based on genuine democratic principles and practices.

The commons are increasingly recognized as a source of generative social practice and political imagination. It is a paradigm that is both old and new: the commons-based society goes back deep into history, but has found new ways in the rise of the internet and peer production. Now that European democracy is challenged by illiberal forces and big tech, however, the revitalization of the commons is not just ‘nice to have’ but will prove crucial to keep society open, fair and inclusive.

To achieve this, people need easy, diverse and engaging means to ‘live’ the commons. Therefore, we started the project Gaming for the commons. Within this project we decided to research the potential of serious games to investigate how we can use games for the commons. During the Common play with us nights at Waag, we’ve discovered many features of games with respect to commoning. We learned from experts, play-tested games and analysed existing projects to prove their potential for the commons.

The repository

Based on the knowledge we gathered through these evenings and the research by the Commons Lab, we’ve created an online repository of serious games that can help you to get familiar with the concept of the commons. Mar Escarrabill and Socrates Schouten of Waag’s Commons Lab created the repository by describing serious games and then divided them into categories: their commons-related features, the best context to play the game and the skills that can be obtained by playing the game. 

The serious games online repository is a way to share the learnings obtained during the Gaming for the commons project. Serious gaming is a great way to get familiar with the concept of the commons. We hope you enjoy these games!