We missed this first time around, but it should definitely be on the Christmas shopping list for all self-respecting Finextra Community members.
Crunch - the game for utter bankers is a devious card game that places you at the head of the boardroom as a CEO of a global bank juggling the conflicting demands of
your ailing bank and your future retirement fund.
First released in April, and brough to our attention by our good friend
David Birch, the press release for Crunch says it all:
"An average game sees you bribing your way out of government investigations, fending off aggressive takeovers and forcing debt onto the unsuspecting public. Meanwhile, reward your hard work by taking inappropriate bonuses and - when no one's looking - brazenly
embezzling your bank's own funds and hiding them about your person. Crunch is unique in that to win, players are coaxed into cheating.
"Of course, this doesn't do the health of your bank much good, but not to worry, because you can always call in a government bailout or two. The game ends when all banks are finally bankrupt, capitalism has all but collapsed and it's time to count up that well-earned
personal fortune: The richest CEO wins."
If it sounds immoral, it's meant to be. But as Dave Birch says it also serves a dual purpose: "I bought it for fun, but in playing it the kids asked a lot of questions about the credit crunch, about the relationship between assets and debt, and about the
idea of deliberately growing your workforce and assets to become too big to fail (adding "workforce" cards also gains you "trust" cards, [which you can then trade in for bail-out funds])."
Yes, I know it's a bit early to be talking about Christmas, but that doen't stop the forces of commerce from ramming it down your throat. Out local Co-op had their Christmas aisle - bedecked in garish tinsel decorations - up and running on the 1st of October,
which must be a new record.