So .. hypothetically speaking, what would it be like if Oak Games had its own currency?

I got excited about this, then it collapsed within about two hours. It was at no point taken seriously as a practical plan. It is a fun intellectual excercise.


This business of alternative currencies is kind of neat, but I'm not into that bitcoin stuff. Metal coins are the best. Game site Boardgamegeek has geekgold. I'm not sure what that is, it's a reputation thing, but it's not really a currency.

Oak Games would have coins that are wood discs, made from oak. These would have a wood grain fingerprint to them, impossible to forge. They would also be thematic and inexpensive to make. There would be an image/branding, a serial number and a value. Coins could be stained, but this might mess with the writing. The writing would be an old-fashioned font. A seal could be added. There is one type of seal you can pour on to wood and it becomes hard as rock.

Coins would be worth $100 Canadian. Each individual coin would have a photograph and other information on the website. If someone sends a circulated coin to Oak Games, the person will get $100. However, this can only be done a year, maybe more, after the coin is issued. Coins would be associated with a community, so that people using it would know about it. The community is, in descending order, board games, Canadians, and the craft crowd.


some softwood discs (or disks, whatever)


The economic best case scenario is I sell a pile of coins that are inexpensive to make and I get hundreds or thousands of dollars. The economic worst case scenario is I go from economicaly neutral, give out a pile of coins, then people give them back and I have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. The reality would be somewhere in between, and anyway this is about more than just money.

Here is a fictional scenario:

One coin is sent to a game publisher in Alberta. They toss it in the trash.

One coin is sent to publisher Scorpion Masqué in Quebec.

One coin is given to a local game store where games are played.

Two coins are sent to Rodney Smith in Toronto. It is suggested he give them to high donors. He finds this weird and has better things to do with his time. He gives these to Sam for him to sort out.

One coin is given to Mandy Hutchinson. She doesn't know what to make of it, but keeps it at work.

Three coins are sent to the Dice Tower people in Florida. Two coins are auctioned off at the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund at a Dice Tower convention. Somebody's money goes to charity. Word gets around. The third coin is given to Mandy Hutchinson, because she is Canadian. She now has two. Huh.

Two coins are sent to Snakes and Lattes board game café in Toronto. One finds its way into Jeanette's hands. She uses it to informally buy a second-hand game from Sally. It is a currency.

A coin is sent to Hal-Con, a game convention in Nova Scotia. It is used as the prize for winning a Glarg Quest tournament.

I sell a coin for $50 to Greg. I'm laughing because I get $50 for nothing. Greg is laughing because he bought something for $50 that he will later give back to me for $100. Oakonomics is weird.

Dwight Reginald Van Sneeb III buys four coins from me for $400. He puts them in a treasure chest. I can dig all that. He eventually gives one of them to his nephew, who puts it .. nobody is quite sure.

Someone sends a coin to me. I pay $100.

Harry sends a coin to me, and I send him $100 as promised. Harry puts this on the Internet.

I sell two coins for $75 each.

Elizabeth will send a coin to me to get $100. No .. it's a hassle to deal with weirdo Steve, e-mail delays, payment and shipping systems. Elizabeth gives a coin to Ronald in her game group to thank him for helping her move.

Someone sends a coin to me. I pay $100.

Someone at a game convention buys three second hand games with a coin.

I sell two coins for $75 each again.

There is a knick knack I like at the local craft show. However, money doesn't grow on trees. Well, actually it does. I offer a coin in exchange for the item. She thinks I'm nuts, and the transaction does not take place.

Someone mails in a coin and gets $100.

My buddy gives me $100 for a coin plus a couple of gift cards I never get around to using. We have a gentleman's agreement that the coin will not go directly back to me.