Work With Us to Create RISE: Our Next Game for the 99%

Who said the revolution can’t be fun?

The world’s changing: students, neighbors, workers, and everyday people are organizing and building movements to take on corrupt corporations and unjust systems.

So we at the TESA Collective, the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives and Loud & Proud, are making RISE – a board game to celebrate and explore these people’s movements. RISE is a cooperative game where everyone is on the same team, working to transform their communities. It will be launching later this summer. In the mean time, we want you to help us develop it.

How The Game is Played (for now)

At its heart, RISE is all about storytelling. In the beginning of each game, players draw a “System” they are working against: like, for instance, a polluting factory. Then each player draws a character or a campaign card that has unique abilities, and which also prompts them to explain why they are part of this movement to take on this system, further developing the narrative. (“My card says I’m about workers rights, so I think the polluting factory has been busting unions.” “And my card says I’m about making sure people have access to healthy and affordable food, so I can tell you the factory has been dumping its waste near the community garden plots we set up last year.”) Through every step of the game, the story is teased out further as players are naturally encouraged to narrate their movements’ shortcomings and victories.

By using cards from their hands – like Protest!, Grassroots Journalist, Legal Support, and Day of Action –  as well as placing movement supporters on the board, players collaborate to take on the System’s stifling power. But watch out, because the System is playing the game too and has cards of its own. Every time you act, the System will react.

That means players will have to deal with things like a Smear Campaign and a Corrupt Politician that throw hurdles at their movement. In addition, cards such as Infighting, Public Feud, and Ego Battle will attempt to pit players and their differing interests against one other.

Only by meeting every players’ needs and building a coalition (with cards like Solidarity, Mutual Aid, and Mobilize!) can the System be overcome.

Of course, as in many real life movements, “winning” and “losing” isn’t always totally clear cut in RISE, which is a unique factor to the game. At the end, players read out the impact cards they’ve collected as they’ve played; these prompt them to narrate the story of what’s left to achieve as well as what they’ve been able to change.

Working to create an early prototype of RISE for a test play.

Cutting out cards for an early prototype of RISE, before any artwork or graphic design

We’re also making it possible so that with RISE, people will be able to make up their own Systems to play against, which they can then share online through our website if they’d like – so that other people can play against those Systems as well.

Ultimately, the goal of RISE is to let players visualize the movements they can build together as well as how they can transform their communities, regions, and the world.

Help Us Develop Rise

But all of this can change, because we’re not going to create RISE in a vacuum. We want to build it with activists, organizers, educators, movement builders, and storytellers. We want to build it with you. That’s why we’re inviting people to participate in the process of developing RISE. As we work on the game, we will regularly post updates about its status. We’ll also be using online platforms to get suggestions, ideas, and feedback about the content, focus, and game play.

What’s more is that we’re looking for movement building groups and organizations – big and small – to collaborate with us closely on RISE. If you’re interested, drop us a line.

If you’re an individual that wants to stay up to date about the development of RISE and/or participate in its creation, you can sign up for our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or send us an e-mail.

And below is our first foray into developing RISE publicly. We’re looking for ideas and content to incorporate into the game, which you can contribute by filling out any or all parts of the survey below.

Because at the end of the day, RISE is a game for, by, and about the people.

Support Our Work

TESA is proud to lead the development of games, tools, and programs for social change. You can support our work while having fun: buy our games about changing the world. TESA can also work with you to build a game, program, or tool for your cause!