The board game Sociopoly was based on the model of Monopoly, with the difference being that in this case you do not have to deal with millions, but with minimal income in deep poverty. The main goal of one of the creators of the game, László Bass (a poverty researcher), was to make people who are not directly affected by poverty more sensitive to its problems
In 2010 a game was developed which allows people to experience the financial constraints of poverty, the welfare system, the tension this causes, and the physical and psychological struggles experienced while accessing the resources.
Sociopoly provides a good opportunity to consider all the questions (and stereotypical responses) that arise when thinking about poverty, with these tested during the game. The game was originally made for young people, but games have been organised with different ages, with mayors and inmates. Professionals working in this field have also shown an interest in the game.
- Topics covered in the game include:
- Employment, unemployment, job search, jobseeker’s allowance, public employment,
- Illegal (undeclared) work,
- The black market
- Having children, family support system,
- Welfare scheme in Hungary: employment substitution support, regular child protection allowance, extraordinary municipal support, state pension, nursing allowance, disability allowance, health and childcare support
- Household maintenance costs,
- Food costs, healthy lifestyle,
Sociopoly also highlights wider social issues related to poverty, such as the exclusion of children. Causes and solutions to poverty (mobility, vocational training) can be highlighted by the referee. The game strengthens social skills, empathy and tolerance.
Sociopoly is available in table-top and floor versions.