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LIFE ReImagined: An Invitation to Collaborate
Designing a digital game that brings to life Green New Deal visions (including yours!)
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Help us bring this game to life!

Envision actions that drive moves on the board and change in the world
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The Backstory

As was noted in LIFE ReImagined: A Quest, our introduction to Bay Area artist Lisa Zimmer-Chu’s re-envisioning of Milton Bradley’s 1960s Game of LIFE, the major issues of our time — coronavirus, racial injustice, the climate emergency, challenges to democracy, and economic inequality — are all interconnected.

While the original Game of LIFE reflected an era of planned obsolescence (building things so they need to be replaced) and continual growth (constantly taking more), LIFE ReImagined is about the truth that complicated problems cannot be solved simply.

It serves as a model to imagine together what all of our lives might look like in a Green New Deal (or GND-like) world. It’s a chance to consider not just what is good for the individual, but also what benefits the common good.

Thanks to a creative collaboration between Lisa, TAO the GND, Be the Green, EarthGames, the students of EarthGames Studio (aka EarthGames Collective) at the University of Washington, and folks who came up with actions in our original game lab, a local digital co-op version of LIFE ReImagined: A Quest is in the works.

ReImagining LIFE in action!

Our goal is a justice-based culture shift of attitudes and practices – away from oppressing people and extracting resources – and toward creating healthy communities and a sustainable planet.

We’re psyched that the students at the EarthGames Collective has created amazing art for an inviting digital scene that helps us co-envision what that new world could look like.

EarthGames Collective

Sssweet Game Takes Shape!

Since our original call for actions, we have also added the “Sssweet Trifecta“: Balancing Self (by or for self), Society (by or for society), and Sustainability (for the earth and human systems) in the game’s actions. Players advance along the path by controlling not just their own, but their co-players’ as well as the planet’s destiny.

The Goal of the Game

I. Conceptual Goal

The overarching idea is to imagine together how we might successfully activate and navigate through a just transition toward a regenerative economy for people and the earth.

There are many existing vision frameworks from which to draw inspiration. Here are a few that might help in your process of sparking action ideas:

II. Concrete goals

  • Work personally and collaboratively with other team members for a balance of SSSweet points (Self, Society, and Sustainability).
  • Keep your “self” bar charged so you can thrive as you go around the board, contributing to society and sustainability, and building the board as you take action.
  • Learn more about the many ways to make the justice-based shifts that form the base of healthy communities and sustainable environments by following the links in the game’s action cards.
  • If inspired to do so, take action in real life based on game actions!

III. Proposed Game Play

While LIFE ReImagined is still under development (sign up here to become a beta tester), the following moves give you a rough idea of players’ objectives as they will travel along the path.

  1. Choose your character.
  2. Spin to move around the board and keep your “Self” charged.
  3. Draw action cards and make your choices with the SSSweet points balance in mind. You build the board as you take action.
  4. Learn and grow as you move around the board, and watch as you impact others and together help build the world of our dreams.
  5. Save your place or start again as a new character after 10 spins.
Icon & spinner art: EarthGames Collective

Ready to take a spin?

Write your own story and help bring the game to life

Now that you’ve got the basic concept of LIFE ReImagined, it is time to create action cards that represent YOUR vision of a better world and help make the game engaging and informative for others.

These are the three intersecting guiding principles to orient yourself by that will give the actions both thematic and mechanical structure:

I. The Fields

Using the 21 concepts below from the 21 ‘fields’ that Lisa put on the game board, imagine actions that players can take to achieve our collectively reimagined world. For each action card, pick one of these fields.

Original game board by Lisa Zimmer-Chu. Click to enlarge.
EQUITY
EDUCATION
HEALTH
HOUSING
FOOD
COMMUNITY
WORK
ENERGY
MUTUAL AID
JUST MIGRATION
NATURE
RE-CREATION
ENVIRONMENT
DECOLONIZATION
RESOURCES
TRANSPORT
STORYTELLING
ARTS
TRUTH
JUSTICE
DEATH

II. The Pillars

And what shape does each ‘field’ take when viewed through the lens of the four pillars from A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy? Pick one of them to further define your field.

PROTECT
REPAIR
INVEST
TRANSFORM

III. The SSSweet Trifecta

Now it’s time for the Sssweet Trifecta which will add the narrative to your action card. Based on the field and pillar you’ve picked, choose an action that reflects “Self” (by or for self), another that reflects “Society” (by or for society), and a third one that delves into Sustainability (for the earth and human systems). Think about actions that could become moves in the game while also improving conditions for ourselves, the world around us, and generations to come. It doesn’t all have to be deadly serious — part of regenerating our various systems is to keep things simple and find a good groove, so just have some fun with it.

To give you a bit of a spark, here a few action card examples…

Sssweet action card examples:

  • INVEST ENERGY

    • Self: Put up a clothes line for the ultimate solar clothes dryer
    • Society: Start a clean power utility in your community
    • Sustainability: Introduce a solar feed-in tariff for farmers to become sustainable and generate a secondary income

  • REPAIR ENVIRONMENT

    • Self: Clean your space and adopt some plants for a restful home
    • Society: Ensure public green space is built, protected, rehabilitated, and maintained
    • Sustainability: Clean up the oceans as an eco-tourist activity people are subsidized to do

  • PROTECT COMMUNITY

    • Self: Get to know your neighborhood while getting exercise by walking/biking to work and errands
    • Society: Organize community meetings to listen to neighbors’ needs and concerns
    • Sustainability: Develop a Green Benefit District plan for your neighborhood

Action card art: EarthGames Collective

Once you’ve got a completed Sssweet Action Card that represents YOUR vision, please share it  in a comment below. Do as many as you feel inspired to.

You can also add a paragraph and link to background info for real life actions connected to your action cards.

Find more action card examples here. Any of your ideas could become moves in the game.

Let’s ReImagine LIFE and the world we must hurry toward together!

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EarthGames Collective

PS: More Ways to Help

  1. Share this project on social media and tag folks involved and/or those who should know about this. Sample posts & tags here.
  2. Donate to the Life Reimagined project via EarthGames Support Fund.
  3. Beta test the game: Sign up here and we’ll invite you to Round 1 of beta testing when it’s ready.
  4. Join our weekly meetings Fridays at 2:30PT/5:30ET on zoom to work on this directly. Email us to connect.
This game is under Fair Use. It is non-profit in nature, and being created for the purposes of teaching, comment, criticism, parody, news reporting, scholarship and research. Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; Allowance is made for “Fair Use for purposes such as criticism, comment, parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. Fair Use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might be otherwise infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
All rights and credit go directly to rightful owners. No copyright infringement is intended.”
9 Comments
  • Avatar
    Dan Chu
    Posted at 14:00h, 21 April Reply

    SELF: create habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds with native plants

    Society: Tell Biden to support a just transition to a clean energy future
    https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/send-a-letter-to-president-biden-calling-for-a-just-recovery/petition?promoid=70131000001uhJzAAI&_ga=2.150809905.62611341.1619038683-296588990.1613871507

    Sustainability: Start a red worm composting farm for your food scraps

  • Avatar
    Jeremiah Long
    Posted at 15:01h, 15 April Reply

    I love this!! #ReImagineLife

    TRANSFORM Storytelling

    Self: Tell your unique personal story, your story matters.

    Society: Seek out underrepresented stories from friends and strangers; listen and share them.

    Sustainability: Create a community to amplify underrepresented voices and actively leverage your resources to support it.

  • Avatar
    Trenton Downing
    Posted at 13:23h, 07 April Reply

    self or sustainability: get all your food from places that are helpful for the environment.
    society: make a group within your community and start helping each other out.
    sustainability: make all your energy come from renewable energy sources.

  • Avatar
    Madie Eidam
    Posted at 17:03h, 06 April Reply

    Transform/Community

    Self: connect with the entirety of my community — be kind and open to my neighbors, unhoused and housed, kids and adults, those who work in the neighborhood, the resident animals — a community is welcoming to all its inhabitants.
    Society: gather regularly — whether it be block parties, first fridays, town halls, create opportunities for community members to connect and establish their own connections and roots
    Sustainability: create online and in-person community networks — online, a space where the community can ask for and provide support to one another — in person, a community garden where resources are encouraged to be shared

  • Avatar
    Trenton Downing
    Posted at 13:26h, 31 March Reply

    Life reimagined card ideas

    Self: start fixing broken things yourself
    Society: start a community garden
    Sustainability: do environment related community service 

  • Avatar
    Trenton
    Posted at 13:21h, 31 March Reply

    Life reimagined card Ideas

    Self: start fixing things that are broken yourself
    Society: start a community garden
    Sustainability: do community service to help the environment

  • Avatar
    tyler
    Posted at 13:12h, 31 March Reply

    invest in plants
    self: start a outdoor garden and learn about local plants

    society: starts or join a green or gardening club.

    sustainability: attend meeting in your neighborhood, invest in parks and outdoor gardens.

  • Avatar
    tyler
    Posted at 13:08h, 31 March Reply

    Invest in nature
    self: start a outdoor garden, or put time aside to learn more about the plants in the local neighborhood.
    society: start a group green team club. get to know your neighbors too!
    sustainability: invest in parks and attend meetings to see what else you can do.

  • Sven Eberlein
    Sven Eberlein
    Posted at 10:47h, 22 March Reply

    TRANSFORM | STORYTELLING
    Self: Imagine “being in another person’s shoes” to understand their perspective and how they might feel.
    Society: Participate in a community storytelling project. Share your story and listen to others.
    Sustainability: Attend your neighborhood Environmental Justice film festival.

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