Based on the duel challenges of climate change and peak oil, Endgame is a board game that encourages players to explore aspects of collaboration and competition in a post oil scenario, within the ‘safe’ context of role-play. The game is also designed to allow players to make choices about their actions and to run the risk of facing the consequences for them. Endgame provides a platform to allow people to explore these issues collectively.
The rules of Endgame are based very loosely on the structure of the popular property game Monopoly. Players first choose the location they would like to be based in: the city, suburbia, a small town or the countryside (each holding its own advantages and disadvantages). Set in a land with limited or no access to oil, players are faced with the challenges of trading goods such as food and water to stay alive, and this can be done by either collaborating or colluding against fellow players. There is also a random outside influence where players must regularly face a choice, chance or circumstance card that stimulates game play and provides some realism. Endgame is based on one of the greatest concerns that came up during the research for its production: how are we going to interact with each other if things do get tough with future environmental and economic problems – are we going to collaborate or compete? It is designed to allow players to make choices about their actions and witness the consequences on the environment, other players and themselves.
Endgame has the potential to be developed into something that communities and people of all ages and backgrounds can use. Endgame is an exploration into the use of communication design as an aid to the social transitions required by individuals and communities to become pro-active rather then re-active to looming shifts. Hands on gaming and interaction with others seems the ideal antidote to get people talking about these issues (as opposed to more passive digital/web based gaming) and character design and role playing is used as a means humanising a difficult subject matter. The game is also produced form 100% recycled materials where possible. New methods are needed to respond to change by shifting our modes of thinking and behaviour. Shock tactics no longer work, but allowing exchanges of information and room for people to digest it is how Endgame is effective.