Kati London from Area/Code was in Manchester to pick up the 2011 FutureEverything Award for city-wide social game Macon Money.

maconmoney.org

Games engage people with issues, ideas and other people, and that engagement shifts the ways in which the world is perceived. Macon Money is a city-wide social game designed to address the issue of socio-economic segregation and to bring together residents in the city of Macon, GA.

Macon Money has been developed as a part of an effort funded by the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation that spans research, development and evaluation of games designed to address some of the hyperlocal issues facing a handful of American cities.

Macon Money is the first game to use a real-world local currency. Tens of thousands of US dollars worth of Macon Money have been printed up and to earn this currency players cash in “bonds” that have been distributed to residents of Macon. The catch is that each player gets just half a bond and to turn it in must find a person holding a matching half.

To find their match, players use whatever means their imagination and ingenuity can invent – social media (on Facebook and using hashtags on Twitter), online message boards, the Macon Money forums – even face-to-face events. “Cash” in hand, the winning players then decide how and where to spend their Macon Money.

Since the game launched in mid-October of 2010 more than half of the bonds distributed have been redeemed for Macon Money bills. More than half of those bonds were redeemed by person to person connections made by individuals living in different parts of the city (specifically different post codes).

Local participating businesses accept Macon Money bills and redeem them for US Dollars. Businesses benefit from new patrons who are spending money that they might not otherwise have spent locally.

Through real world rewards Macon Money brings together diverse local residents while creating social bonds.

Group Biography: Macon Money was funded by the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation and was designed and developed by Area/Code.

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