Welcome to a sketch pad of a new game and a sci-fi utopian tale by Richard Greeman in league other dreamers and charming subversives.


Our B&B (Billions And Billionaires) project has the modest goal of helping to save the world. We want to release an idea-virus that might inspire Billions of young people to rise up together and take back Mother Nature from the Billionaires who are despoiling her. Our first priority is to turn the The Backstory summarized below, into a Graphic Novel.

The story starts with Collective Creation -- a dream about visionaries and artists like you and me pooling our knowledge and skills on a Wiki very much like this one. Intrigued? So this bunch of revolutionary artists and visionary nerds, using a Wiki like this one, design various projects including a free-ware game called B&B (Billions and Billionaires) which imitates the real world of capitalism. This project eventually goes viral and helps save the world. So might ours, why not? And if not us, who?

The next chapter presents the drole and ironic Rules of the Game B&BThe game rules describe today's capitalist world objectively, with its conflicting classes as the main players: On one side, the Billions of Peasant Farmers, Students, Unemployed, Professionals, Indigenous Peoples, Mothers, Care-givers, Blue-collar and office Workers. On the other side the Billionaires : Bankers, Rulers and Corporate Masters of the Universe. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the different classes are classified. In the next version, we are planning to have each of the players (e.g. Bankers, ad-men, lawyers) depicted as particular kind of Monster, each with its own card and graphic in a 'Magic-the-Gathering' format, but satirical à la Daumier. Their strengths and powers will be represented by Attack points, etc and by the Spells they can cast. The Billionaires will of course hold most of the power cards and know all the tricks and spells, starting with 'Divide and Rule.' The Billions have the immense advantage of number, but they are divided and overwhelmed by their day to day struggle for life. They do have a chance to win, thus to save the planet, if they can overcome their inner divisions, by uniting globally, taking charge, and changing the rules.

NB the projerct of designing such a game as a spin-off would be too difficult to realize at this point, but it is definitely on the agenda. But for now, I am trying to create a plausible fictionalized version of such a game as an instructive, humorous and memorable way of presenting a classic Marxist analysis of class struggle. In the game-world of B&B this scenario (or one very much like it) is the only way the Billions can win (or rather end) the Game and reach the Year 2100. Otherwise the game goes on until the Billionaires, squabbling among them selves for the spoils of a dying Planet, blow up the world in an atomic war or slowly poison and boil it to death.

In the next chapter, The Dream of Revolutionary Emergence, B&B takes off. The success of the graphic novel,and its spin-off, the Magic-the-Gathering format card game, stimulate the development of a hugely popular Internet multi-player online game that goes viral globally and literally 'takes over the world.' . Millions of Gamers (known as 'Fishies' after the B&B logo) around the planet get involved in the game, learn the rules of class struggle and then join in the struggles of actual Farmers, Workers, Indigenous, Tenants, Unemployed etc. (NB This was written ten years before young fans of The Hunger Games started getting involved in fighting poverty). With its Virtual Game Globe constantly updated with new statistics, B&B goes viral as the events on the B&B game-globe more and more anticipate what happens in the real world.. The game now has more credibility than the governments and the media. As Climate Catastrophe looms and globalized capitalism's rapacious tactics economic crises make life more and more impossible for the Billions around the planet, social movements make good use of the fishies Internet connections and revolutionary hackers to organize world-wide strikes, boycotts and demonstrations against Mega Corporations who pollute and exploit. The women take the lead as protagonists of a womans' dance craze that spreads around the globe, bringing women everywhere out into the streets, abandoning homes, husbands, children, factories and fields to heed the call of Mother Earth. To join them, men must renounce violence, destroy their weapons.In response to violent repression ordered by the Billionaires, the Billions rise up simultaneously around the planet. They overwhelm or win over the armed soldiers, and take over the land, the factories, the mines, the administrations and the banks.The Billionaires are more and more isolated, crippled by global strikes of truckers, pilots, technicians and mutiny in the ranks of the armed forces. The 1%ers react more and more violently, but with defections in their ranks and loss of moral authority they succomb. Organized in local, regional and global assemblies, the social movements now hold the real power and mutate into forms of economic and political self-government. Dancing in the streets. Was this Dream a real dream? Or perhaps just a winning session of B&B?

In the final chapter, A Dream of Ecotopias, we visit the world of the future, created out of the social movements of the Emergence. A new human society based on cooperation, mutual aid and respect for Mother Earth has emerged from the shell of the old competitive money society. It has taken generations to heal and roll back the ecological damage wrought by predatory capitalism in its death throes, but by 2100 the earth is green again, human-scaled cities are flourishing and humans are living in harmony with nature, producing and exchange to satisfy needs, not for profit. A Trip to Ecotopia is an example of a more personalized approach to present the subject of the future society.

The Backstory is the basic narrative which provides the framework for collective improvisation. Additions and editing would have to be more or less consistent with it. The scenario has a definite bias. For example, Divine Intervention and Extra-terrestials aren't part of this particular narrative of human self-liberation. Nor do we wish to depict top-down, bureaucratic, hegemonic 'revolutionary' parties with charismatic leaders, militias, armies as the roads to Ecotopia etc.. History has shown that although such parties are useful for taking state power in a revolutionary situation, their leaders end up establishing dictatorships over the masses, giving themselves privileges, stifling democracy and they eventually end up working with the Billionaires and Corporations against the Billions (as in "Communist" China). The depiction of our global revolution will suffice to dramatize this, as the Chinese workers take the lead in class struggle.

The theoretical and historical underpinnings of the future fantasy is presented in two discursive articles. A Bet You Can't Refuse evokes the onrushing global catastrophe and proposes that the one chance in a hundred that humanity may have to survive the 21st century is this: betting on the impossible, on Ecotopia. A Modern Archimedes Hypothesis explains how to get THERE from HERE, how the passengers and crew of Spaceship Earth, locked below decks by the Officers who are busy pilliaging hold and fighting over the spoils as the ship hurtles to disaster succeed in storming the bridge and getting back on course. It describes the historical links between communications technology and revolutionary self-organization, proposing a vision based on connectivity with the Internet as the Platform from which the Billions (the 99%) can wield the Lever of international solitarity based on the Fulcrum of Planetary Consciousness.

If you are willing to accept this scenario or to 'suspend disbelief' for the sake of creating an inspiring story, please join us and bring your own dreams and artistic, digital, communications, narrative and analytical skills to help us build this Revolutionary Flying Object (RFO) and get it off the ground.