Brian's Games

A Collection of Interesting and Thought-Provoking Entertainments

Tag: currency

EcoNomic: The Game in which Money Makes the Rules

I was very excited when I first learned about Nomic, a part-game-part-philosophical-experiment created in 1982. The basic premise of Nomic is that, while playing, players can vote to change the rules of the game. I decided to make my own twist on Nomic; I call it EcoNomic because in my version players use money to bid for rule changes in a silent auction. The game works best if each rule is listed on a separate card on a table. The full rules are below; click here to download a version that you can print on 3×5 index cards.

  1. Give each player $100 at the start of the game. Place the rest of the game’s money in a bank. Use a random method to determine the first player. Then begin the first player’s turn and discard this rule.
  2. If any player has $200 or more during her turn, she wins the game.
  3. During a player’s turn he has one action to spend.
  4. You may spend one action to collect $10 from the bank.
  5. You may spend one action to add a new rule. If you do this, first write the text of the rule on a card and read it aloud. Then ratify the rule change. This rule cannot be changed, replaced, or discarded.
  6. You may spend one action to discard a rule. If you do this, first declare which rule will be discarded. Then ratify the rule change.
  7. You may spend one action to replace a rule. If you do this, first declare which rule will be replaced. Write the new text on a card and read it aloud. Then ratify the rule change.
  8. Ratify all rule changes by silent auction; all players vote “yea” or “nay”, using any number of their dollars as votes; all players reveal their votes at the same time.
  9. A rule change does not take effect unless it is ratified with at least twice as many “yea” votes as “nay” votes.
  10. Ratified rule changes take effect at the beginning of the next turn before the next player can take any actions.
  11. All money used to ratify rule changes goes to the bank.
  12. When a player has no more actions to spend, end the player’s turn.
  13. When a player’s turn ends, begin the turn of the player to his left.
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