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ENCLOSURES is a playground-style group game for all ages to play in public space. It is a playful elegy for community assets lost to privatisation. Using a crowd-sourced list of enclosures of the commons (from land-grabs to sell-offs of public organisations and resources), players write the names of enclosed assets on the floor with chalk and then attempt to either encircle these names or defend them using whatever means necessary.

 

Before starting please download the crowd-sourced list of enclosures.

 

you will need:

  • 4+ players
  • a piece of chalk each
  • a bottle to spin
  • printed list of enclosures with each name cut out separately*
  • to be in a publicly-owned space
  • something to take notes with

 

10–45 minutes

 

1. Once you have found somewhere publicly-owned with some open space to play in, each player should take one enclosure name from the pile and write it on the ground in chalk.

 

2. Spin the bottle. Whoever it points to is judge for this round and will not take part in the game.

 

3. The judge reads out the following to the group:

  • the aim of this game is to protect and/or enclose the names on the ground.
  • you can enclose someone else’s name by drawing a complete circle around it and writing  your initials.
  • you can protect your name by preventing others from circling it.
  • names with circles that have been broken open or rubbed out revert to whoever wrote them.
  • there are no other rules – any means necessary can be used to enclose or protect names.

 

4. The judge counts down from 60 whilst everyone else plays.

 

5. At the end of the round the judge inspects the names on the ground. Anyone who has defended
their enclosure name is given 1 new enclosure name. Anyone who has circled and initialled someone
else’s enclosure name is given 1 new name per completed circle. e.g. player CM has not protected her own enclosure name but has circled 2 others, she is given 2 new names.

 

6. All players write their new enclosure names on the ground and then spin the bottle to select the judge for the next round.

7. The new judge counts down from 60 and the game begins again. Players can enclose and protect names from the previous round(s) and the current round. At the end of the countdown the judge gives out new names based on the defence and enclosures made in the most recent round.

 

8. The game continues until all the printed names have been used. By this time some players may have many more names than others, or it could still be relatively equal. Gather together to discuss and note down enclosures that you know of. These can be added to the crowd-sourced list at elizabethvhudson.com/enclosures.

 

notes:

publicly-owned space:

This game is for playing in public space and reflects on how many of these spaces are left to us.

They vary by country, but could include: city squares, village greens, commons, pavements, public institution land, allotments, co-operatively owned spaces and some forests or beaches. When finding a place to play safety should also be considered!

 

chalk:

Every player needs something that they can easily (and temporarily!) mark the ground with.

Chalk is good for hard surfaces, but on dirt or sand a stick works well.

 

list of enclosures:

As people contribute to this list, it grows. If you want a quick game, or if the list has grown very long, you can print out less pages. However the more people playing your game, the more names you will need. As a rough guide 2 pages will give a moderate-length game for 5 players.

 

adding to the crowd-sourced list:

This is done online so that the database can be added to and accessed from any place at any time. Enclosures in the widest sense are accepted, so this encompasses all forms of privatisation and/or restriction of public access to land, intellectual rights, public good, public utilities or anything else held in communal or public ownership in any country. It’s great if you can include a short description as well as the name of what was enclosed. e.g. name: ‘Cochamba water’ description: ‘privatisation of the city’s water, leading to mass protests. Bolivia. 1999’.

 

final score:

If you wish you can note down the number of enclosure names each player holds at the end and award a winner, or you may feel that this is not needed.

 

*no printer? You can pick enclosure names directly from the list downloaded onto your device. You might want to mark off names as they are given out to prevent duplication.

 

print version