Post Capitalism by Colestia is a short city-building and puzzle game about finding the weak links in capitalism and replacing them with alternatives in order to create a functional socialist society. It's this week's Indie Pick.
Games like Sim City allow players to build block upon block of city streets and utilities to form a functional and well-regulated capitalist society. Their game systems are built on the assumption that capitalism is an ideal form of societal organisation and fail to offer alternatives. Post Capitalism takes the underlying ideas of a city builder — to form a more functional society — but changes that assumption. Players are given a pre-assembled block of factories, stores, roads, and apartments that they must shuffle and reorganise into a socialist society.
Post Capitalism asks that players to be mindful of the connections between everything in the city. Changing the highway to a public transit system might undo your decision to implement cleaner energy, removing a field of solar panels. Placing a limit on work hours might leave some citizens feeling unfulfilled. By highlighting two objects in Post Capitalism players can see how they are related. For instance, an apartment building run by a landlord contrasts with a public park; in one case land is commodified while it is common in the other. The game becomes a logic puzzle where experimenting with a society's priorities helps identify the hurdles to a more equitable state.
Eugene Debs once said, "Ignorance alone stands in the way of socialist success." While playing Post Capitalism can never compete with sitting down to read Marx, Russell or Orwell, it's a quick and interactive way to think about different outlooks on society.
You can play Post Capitalism in your web browser of choice.