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As much as I enjoy games like Monopoly or Settelers of Catan, I'm very concerned about the way these games affect players' concept of economy, as they demonstrate extremly capitalistic economical rules where the goal of each individual is to financially crush his/her friends.

I know that since competition is an important factor in many games, the use of capitalism is natural, but I'd anyway like to find out about any economical board games that demonstrate a different approach.

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There's anti-monopoly - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Monopoly –  Tom77 Nov 21 '12 at 13:12
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there are a lot of online games that have actual real economies. World of Warcraft, and Kingdom of loathing have supply/demand driven economies. It's capitalism, but it's not cutthroat like Monopoly(which is not actually an example of capitalism by the way) –  Sam I am Nov 21 '12 at 19:01
    
Has anyone something to say about anti monopoly? I've seen it but never played. One comment though, I don't believe the objective of most economical games is to crush; rather compete to be the biggest. That's human –  quinestor Nov 30 '12 at 9:12
    
I can't imagine how socialism could make a remotely fun game. Even with competition aside, capitalism gives the players choice. With government (the game rules) controlling the economy, the game just plays itself. Where do the players fit into this? –  tyjkenn Jan 15 '13 at 4:25
    
@tyjkenn The fact is I got some interesting answers so looks like competition is not the only way to enjoy life.. Also it's really not about the old dogmatic 'capitalism vs socialism' but a search for a new experience. –  Roy Jan 15 '13 at 11:15

6 Answers 6

You may want to look at Indonesia. It's still outwardly capitalistic, but the concept of cooperation, mergers, and acquisitions gives you an alternative route to achieving your objectives.

It's a shipping game, and you can play as a production company, a shipping company, or a combination of both. Production companies must to rely on shipping companies to deliver their goods to cities, and must pay fees for using their network. This means you might have to rely on other players depending on your strategy, and other players will have to depend on you for their shipping companies to work. This setup makes for a very dynamic distribution of wealth within the game.

Mergers and acquisitions happen when companies start to combine on the board based on the division of land or shipping routes. This allows you to create bigger and more efficient shipping lines.

There's a nice rundown of the game on YouTube.

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Since games usually need a winner, crushing your opponent is often just part of the process. This is why I sometimes like to play cooperative games. My favorite is currently Pandemic, but it is not an economic game like Monopoly/Catan (Pandemic's economic component consists mostly of making efficient use of limited actions and limited turns).

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Puerto Rico is an economic game but it's hardly purely capitalistic. While you can trade goods for money, you get at least half if not more of your victory points by shipping goods, and each type of good is worth one victory point regardless of value. However, I'm not sure what you mean when you say Catan is capitalist. It's a pre-capitalist barter economy with no money. You use raw materials to build settlements and roads, and there is no mention of leveraging worker's labor to maximize your personal wealth. Perhaps you are conflating capitlism with societal /economic competition, which is not remotely the same thing.

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It does not mention worker's labor because it's a game, but if you translate the game's inner economical logic into real life (and that's what people tend to do with the cultural activities they participate in), it is very much about owning resources, let them "work for you" and win by being the richest person around. –  Roy May 17 '13 at 6:16

Like most other decisions in Chicken caesar, the tax rate is determined in a democratic way.

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There is the "Anti-Monopoly" which gets the game origins of the Monopoly, i.e. the Landlord's game.

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The fact that the economic part is important but not predominant make 7 Wonder kind a more Social-democratic game than capitalism, since money is not the main objective of the game.

Plus, giving the choice you tend to buy resources from a poorer civilization.

Another game, which doesn't have economic dynamic at all, but do have a gameplay dynamic involving democratic resolution which tend to lean forward social-democratic behaviour is Mafia, surprising as it is considering the name. At the start of the game, the townpeoples do have their own destiny in hand, it's their choices, base on a ballot, that will eventually dictate the outcome of the game.

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