SOCIOPOLY / SZOCIOPOLY
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 The game was originally made for young people, but games have been organised with different ages, with mayors and inmates.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.
Young people and a range of other service users and professionals
TYPE OF PRACTICE
Contact: GYERE – Gyerekesély Közhasznú Egyesület
How to use this Resource
Using this resource for learning
Sociopoly can be used as a familiarisation tool which develops social competences. With 4-5 teams or players, the game takes approximately 45-60 minutes to play. Experience has shown that after playing the game, it is worth discussing the experience in order to compare the game-play with real situations. For larger groups, non-players can be involved in the process.
The only disadvantage of the game is the recommended presence of a referee. They resolve any in-game conflicts, can provide information, provoke players and answer questions raised (although the game can be played without a referee). Value is added if the game is played in teams as this naturally creates discussions.