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LIFE ReImagined: A Quest
(Created by Lisa Zimmer-Chu / Assemblage, recycled/repurposed found objects, 2020)

In our colonized, exploitative, capitalist society, the ‘object’ of the metaphorical game of life is to accumulate the most wealth to win. Indeed, as life imitates art and leisure, Milton Bradley updated its “Game of LIFE” in 1960, reflecting the era of planned obsolescence and perpetual growth.

It’s past time to re-imagine the object of the game! We must change the goal if we are ever to achieve a different outcome.

The major issues of our time — coronavirus, racial injustice, the climate emergency, and economic inequality — are inextricably interconnected. That’s what the Green New Deal is about, the truth that systemic problems cannot be resolved in silos. Yet it can be hard to see it all at once, to fit the pieces together into the giant mosaic that it is.

The following game board — assembled by Bay Area artist Lisa Zimmer-Chu with recycled/repurposed materials and found objects — serves as a model to collectively envision what our daily actions might be with a newly agreed upon goal: The moves on the game board.

It is a work in progress and is the framework for a collaborative project creating a digital game version.

The Board

Please take this interactive opportunity to express yourself about what we can do as individuals and in community to achieve our shared, balanced vision. Imagine yourself as a player traveling along the path, starting by the ‘LIFE field’ area in the lower left corner. (If you’re on a desktop, move along the path with your cursor to get a better perspective of the fields).

Using the concepts from the 20 fields, what ideas do you have for the actions players might take to build and maintain our ReImagined world? And what if each of these actions were viewed through the lens of Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform, the pillars upon which A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy is built?

Below are the 20 fields, four pillars, and three sample actions. Think about one or several actions that represent your own and your community’s vision and share them in the comments at the end. Let’s ReImagine LIFE and the world we must hurry toward together. You must play to win! 

(PS: If you’d like to get involved in other aspects of developing LIFE ReImagined, just drop us a line.)

Fields

Pillars

PROTECT
REPAIR
INVEST
TRANSFORM

Action Examples

  • Invest: Energy

    • You’ve been elected on a clean energy and just transition platform and have the decisive vote on your county’s public utility board. You push for:
    • a) subsidized residential grid-tied solar storage systems
    • b) a feed-in tariff for solar panels on barn roofs to help farmers generate a secondary income while scaling up the municipality’s decentralized solar grid.
    • c) a Community Choice Aggregation program to procure clean power from a non investor owned supplier

  • Repair: Education

    • Your public school district has suffered from budget cuts disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities. Choose from the following actions:
    • a) Write a letter to the members of the school board demanding more equitable fund distribution.
    • b) Organize a School Strike for Equity
    • c) Run for school board on a Reparations platform

  • Protect: Community

    • You’ve been tasked with developing a sustainability plan for your city. Residents of a once vibrant but now blighted neighborhood that was torn apart in the 1960s by a freeway voice their concerns about getting displaced by gentrification. Choose from the following actions:
    • a) Set up a series of meetings to listen to community needs
    • b) Negotiate an agreement to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with community leaders before any projects get green lighted.
    • c) Include a food security and affordable housing mandate in the plan.

13 Comments
  • Avatar
    Avehn
    Posted at 12:17h, 14 January Reply

    So excited to see this project grow! Thinking of ways to explicitly discuss reparations and land back – concepts that I think could fit into most pillars and fields! Also looking towards interdependence beyond individual actions. Perhaps options to deed land back to indigenous tribes, contribute to mutual aid funds, and take communal actions?

  • Avatar
    Dru Saren
    Posted at 12:02h, 13 January Reply

    I was thinking about how you choose a character in the game, and about how much Life is chance. So my rudimentary thought was that before you begin:

    You pick from 3 cards – female, male, intersex (statically fewer).

    Then you pick a number, 1, 2, or 3. /with a 1 you choose one race card. With 2, you choose 2. Maybe “race” isn’t the word.

    Next, sexual orientation: straight, queer or fluid?

    Next, industialized or developing country

    Then, parental economic status: wealthy, middle class, poor. Immigrant or native?

    So, you get the idea. These are just suggestions!

  • Avatar
    Carlos Nuñez
    Posted at 14:57h, 11 January Reply

    Field: Death
    Pillar: Invest

    Nothing lasts forever and life continues in a cycle of birth and death. Now you must make a final choice.

    Actions:
    a) Become an organ donor: Distribute +8 happiness among any other players
    b) Donate your savings to a just cause: This will give the world +5 happiness
    c) Add your descendants to your will: This will give a future player you create +3 happiness at the start

    ~~~~~~~

    Field: Storytelling
    Pillar: Transform

    As a writer, you’re looking to influence the next generation of thinkers and content creators. You set out to write a compelling story and must choose the best way to share it.

    Actions:
    a) Publish a book: This will take only this turn to complete but will give -1 to world happiness and +1 happiness to all players
    b) Create a feature length film: This will take 1 extra turn to complete but will give any 3 players +3 happiness
    c) Help develop a video game: This will take 2 extra turns to complete but will give any 2 players +5 happiness

  • Avatar
    Andrew
    Posted at 14:43h, 11 January Reply

    Field: Education
    Pillar: Invest

    Our current public education system has a plethora of issues that fail at many different levels. One issue that is especially prominent is how schools in different neighborhoods are of vastly different quality and help reinforce and perpetuate a dangerous stereotype of privilege. As someone who will potentially have children who go through this system, you want to ensure that it’s as fair as possible while still maintaining a high quality.

    Actions:
    a. Research issues plaguing the school system and bring them up to local legislators, potentially joining a group or movement towards that goal.
    b. Personally spend time volunteering at local schools to try and make up for disparities in funding and opportunity.
    c. Donate to your local schools to help subsidize the costs of necessary materials and underfunding by the government.

  • Avatar
    Jimmy
    Posted at 12:26h, 11 January Reply

    Field: TRANSPORT
    Pillar: TRANSFORM

    The company you work for has decided to become more environmentally conscious. They see an opportunity in limiting carbon dioxide emissions during their employees’ commutes. Company leadership has asked for suggestions on how they could go about doing this.

    Actions:
    a) Propose a “work from home” program that removes the commute entirely.
    b) Propose the company provide electric bicycles to encourage people to walk or bike to work.
    c) Propose the company provide bus passes for all employees to encourage them to take public transit rather than their own cars.

  • TAO the GND
    TAO the GND
    Posted at 12:05h, 11 January Reply

    Submitted by Dru Saren:
    What a great idea and wonderful project. I’d love to be a part of this. One idea that comes to mind under Education is an off-shoot of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Table: bio cards of forgotten/little known women, queer, POC figures with follow up activities.

  • Avatar
    Ashley
    Posted at 11:37h, 11 January Reply

    Field: Death
    Pillar: Protect

    Infant mortality and maternal mortality is a very important thing to reduce in order to move a society forward. Once a woman doesn’t have to have as many children as possible so that at least one will hopefully survive, she has a lot more freedom. When women are more free, society benefits and the amount of people who can contribute to the workforce grow.

    Actions:
    a. Improve healthcare for childbirth
    b. Supply nutritious food for infants for free
    c. Birth control education

  • Avatar
    Andrew
    Posted at 15:17h, 06 January Reply

    Field: Nature
    Pillar: Protect

    Our oceans are a vast ecosystem and also play a key role in our way of life. Scientists estimate that the oceans make up between 50-80% of all oxygen production on earth, mostly thanks to oceanic plankton. Not only do the oceans provide food and resources for humans, they also provide recreation and entertainment for us as well. Protecting these resources and allowing them to replenish will be invaluable to humans and wildlife alike, and will also hugely benefit the planet to combat climate change.

    Actions:
    a. Personally boycott unsustainable fishing practices by either removing seafood from your diet entirely or switching to only sustainable sources.
    b. Write a letter/start a petition to reduce or eliminate oil drilling and offshore fracking.
    c. Start or join a movement to raise awareness for the health of our oceans.

  • Avatar
    Ashley
    Posted at 15:17h, 06 January Reply

    Field: FOOD
    Pillar: INVEST
    Food is a very important resource that limits many people from having time to think about education or rights. When you have no choice but to spend all your time a society producing food, that takes time away from being able key issues in society and often that still still isn’t enough to sustain food sovereignty.

    Actions:
    a) Countries with excess food donate what would be waste to places in need.
    b) Wealthy countries must create governmental programs that ensure no one is starving within their country
    c) Science and modern agricultural knowledge should be used to discover ways to assist struggling countries without taking their independence.

  • Avatar
    Jimmy
    Posted at 15:16h, 06 January Reply

    Field: Arts
    Pillar: Protect

    A new non-profit has been formed with the goal to spread awareness surrounding climate change and the Green New Deal through painting murals in public spaces. Your friend who has just joined the organization invites you to help them out.

    Actions:
    a) Join the organization and help out with painting murals.
    b) Follow them on social media and share their posts.
    c) Donate some money and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

  • Avatar
    Carlos Nuñez
    Posted at 15:15h, 06 January Reply

    Field: Arts
    Pillar: Transform

    You’d like to share a powerful message with the world and have decided to create a public piece of artwork. Find the most suitable medium for your statement.

    Actions:
    a) Graffiti mural: Will only take you this turn to complete but adds +3 to the air pollution count
    b) Painting with nontoxic materials: Will take an extra turn to complete but will increase morale in spaces adjacent to your player
    c) Stone Monument: Will take you 2 turns to complete but greatly increases morale in all spaces within this field

  • Avatar
    DMWF
    Posted at 15:15h, 06 January Reply

    FIELD: TRANSPORT
    PILLAR: REPAIR
    Your urban neighborhood has suffered from air pollution in the past, and received a green grant to completely redesign its transport system. Most residents haven’t been able to afford cars in the past.
    Actions:
    a) Purchase electric cars for 30 residents.
    b) Create a new electric bus route and eliminate a lane of traffic.
    c) Eliminate cars from the streets entirely and purchase electric bikes

  • Sven Eberlein
    Sven Eberlein
    Posted at 23:24h, 28 December Reply

    FIELD:NATURE
    PILLAR:PROTECT
    Forests are the lungs of the world and they are key to reversing global warming. Protecting forests and transitioning to growing more instead of cutting them down is part of the green new deal decarbonization plan.

    Actions:
    a) Tie yourself to a tree (direct action).
    b) Lobby local officials with the power to grant or deny permits to loggers (advocacy).
    c) Invest/transition the logger workers to tree farmers and eco-restoration workers w/ a GND (vision)

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