The YKON Game is based on a simple thought experiment: Imagine that the world is brought to a complete halt. Everything stops. No more business as usual. With the world being frozen, you and your fellow players can tinker with the world as you please. What will you change? How do you convince others to go along with your changes? And what about the consequences? In short: The YKON Game is a workshop, party and therapy session in one.

The immediate goal of The YKON Game is to function as a catalyst for utopian thinking. Bridging art, design and education, the game seeks to uncover ideas and novel scenarios that have not yet been considered.

YKON / The YKON Game was born out of the legacy of the 2003 Summit of Micronations, which took place in Helsinki at the Finlandia Hall. The YKON Game was a response to the shortcomings of the traditional seminar models employed in the Summit. The official character of these interactions – which imitated the structure of a G8 Summit – formed trenches between the discussing sides, created hierarchies and emphasized difference rather than shared concerns and approaches.

The YKON Game is inspired by the World Game, the most important invention of seminal architect and utopian thinker Buckminster Fuller. The World Game was created as a subversion of so-called military "War Games" and as a proposal for an alternate system of pedagogy: a game, rather than a curriculum, as the main platform of learning. It was intended as a tool to formulate competing, comprehensive design-science approaches to all the problems of the planet earth. Fuller choose to call his vision a “game” because he wanted it seen as something that was accessible to everyone, not just the elite few in the power structure who thought they were running the show.



Fuller conceived the World Game in a time when electronic networks such as the Internet were not a daily reality. Although he anticipated some of the later developments, Fullers World Game of the 1960s suffered from a lack of real-time data and image streams, global communications across borders and other digital tools. We see it as YKON's task to merge Fullers analogue World Game with the opportunities and tools provided by the Internet and our digital age.

The long term goal of the project is to develop the game into a complete modular structure so it can be adapted to a wide range of contexts, age groups, durations, functionalities, both offline and online. We hope that The YKON Game can become a true community tool that would enable anybody to think about the world in a bigger picture while finding practical utopian solutions to everyday life.

Although the project is still in the middle of its development, it promises to deliver a beautiful vision: the merger of utopian thinking, educational ambition and modern game play within the legacy of Buckminster Fuller.

We wish to acknowledge Medard Gabel for inspiration, who visited YKON in Helsinki and facilitate a Future Game at Helsinki Art Hall.

Here you can download the YKON Game Package.


PLAYOGRAPHY

2012

Space, London, UK (June)
Communikey Festival in Bolder, Colorado, USA (April)
Interaction Design Week at DVK, Split, Croatia (Workshop)
Baltic Games at Brut, Vienna, Austria

2011
Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil
DMY Jury Selection 2011 Bauhaus Archiv Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, Germany
37 Manifestos at Berliner Kunsthalle e.V., Forum Factory, Berlin, Germany
DMY Festival Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany

2010

Happy Together, Tallin Art Hall, Estonia
Mal Au Pixel, Paris, France

2009
Heavens, 2nd Athens Biennial, Athens, Greece
SIM Residency, Reykjavik, Island
Lens Politica, Helsinki, Finland
MINE YOURS OURS Festival, Rijeka, Croatia
Subvision Art Festival, Hamburg, Germany



FAQs


IS THIS LIKE MONOPOLY?

No, the YKON game is not like monopoly.

WHAT IS THE YKON GAME?

The YKON Game is a beautifully bizarre journey and collective attempt to alter the World. Instead of solving the common problems that we are facing, The YKON GAME seeks to uncover the ideas that we haven’t payed attention to yet – ideas that are sometimes wonderful & sometimes terrifying. Other thoughts that could forever alter the world & the way we live in it.

WHY WOULD ONE PLAY SUCH A GAME?
The YKON Game, as many other reality games, can be seen as life plus: it presents life with the additional possibility of fiction. A platform where one can test hypothetical scenarios, experiment with what it would be like to be different, or simply altering a dull situation. By playing the YKON Game one can leave the Everyday temporarily behind and start playing with it, considering things outside ones own thought patterns. A transcendental journey if you wish.

IS IT HARD TO PLAY?
No, there are rules, fictional secenarios, future propositions and there is us. We are already familiar with rules. In our everyday life, we constantly follow all kinds of rules. If we go to a café, we know how we should order and use the tables. Moving outside the café, we follow traffic rules. Then there is etiquette and traditions providing day-to-day manuals of how to conduct our lives and deal with problems. Reality games use the constant presence of rules as their own basis: adding new rules to it. Fictional scenarios work in a similar fashion. We have no difficulty to play along a fire drill exercise. Friendly YKONauts will guide you through the process and party with you.

WHEN AND WHERE CAN I PLAY IT NEXT?
Whenever you please, just invite us! We’re easy travelers, well-behaved, good company and have a great appetite. In return we’ll fill up your senses and take you along on an mind-expanding journey.

SO, THIS IS JUST A GAME?
Game is a vital tool for engaging people in unconventional ways.. But we have also developed an intense workshop format including game mechanics and modules from The YKON Game to enhance your idea development and learn how to use these strategies for a critical approach to design and creating problem-solving tools. If you want it less intense yet pleasingly participatory we can offer The YKON Game as an exhibition with individual interaction devices that subtly instigate a personal process for change towards a practical utopia.