[Dave Birch] Wow, that was excellent fun. Nothing really to do with electronic payments, but I’ve been playing a fantastic new card game called “Crunch: The Game for Utter Bankers” with the kids and some friends.

Crunch is a satirical card game for 2 to 4 players 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. 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.

[From Crunch – the game for utter bankers | BoardGameGeek | BoardGameGeek]

The game served a dual purpose, both of which left me delighted with it. First of all, it was fun to play. Basically, you build up your bank’s lending against assets (ranging from shares in listed companies to Nazi gold) and then when a crunch comes you trade in trust for government bailouts. It didn’t take long to learn, and both the kids and adults enjoyed it. It had an unexpected second purpose, though. 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).

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest games shop — I got mine from Playin’ Games in Museum Street opposite the British Museum — and pick up a copy of this super game.

Federal Trade Commission disclosure. I have no affiliation with Terrorbull Games, the creators of “Crunch”, and have received no payments nor any other form of remuneration related to this endorsement. No animals were harmed during the writing of this blog post.

I happen to have a spare copy of the game in front of me right now, and I will cheerfully send it to the first person to reply to this post with the name of the noted Scottish accountant who became famous throughout the land for his dashing stewardship of Royal Bank of Scotland until a year ago, when an unfortunate turn of events meant that the British government had to take a majority stake in the bank to save it from collapse.

In the traditional fashion, this competition is open to all except for employees of Consult Hyperion and members of my immediate family, is void where prohibited and has no contraindications with common prescription medicines. The prize must be claimed within three months. Oh, and no-one can win more than one of the Digital Money Blog prizes per calendar year.

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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