A proposal for gamifying the circular economy

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The topic of our Redesigning Business master class was to gamify the three economies (civic, circular and sharing economy). In practice this meant that our goal was to make a pervasive game, so that symposium visitors can experience the three different types of new economies and the old economy. Working on a collaborative pervasive game, which will take place at the Redesigning Business Symposium on November 20th 2014, I will focus on translating the essential principles of the circular economy into a small and simplified game-concept.

From economic principles to game rules


The circular economy is a economy-design based on reduce, re-use, recycle. Energy must come from renewable sources. One of the problems with the circular economy is to retrieve the necessary high quality resources from the waste. Development should therefore focus on pre-sorting instead of post-sorting strategies.

Translation of assumptions to design principles

The design should reflect the necessity within the circular economy to rethink design such that high valued resources can be easily accessed for retrieval. Furthermore, the use of lesser materials will generally result in a lower price. This can be done by literally letting the players search through a pile of resources for the right resource, but still enabling the player to succeed their goal with lesser resources (albeit at a lower price).

Game proposal

The circular economy game is a game where players can make a product out of waste. Players have to filter the waste in order to make a perfect one colored product. If they can't find the right colored resources, they can opt to use another color, but this results in less profit.


The bowl represents the waste pile, where players will have to search between the litter (i.e. other colored blocks).