Vol. 22 (Winter) Issue 1, pp.132-144

Using Simulation and Gaming to Design a Community Currency System

Masayuki Yoshida* and Shigeto Kobayashi**

* Joetsu University of Education, Japan, Email: yoshida@juen.ac.jp

** Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan Email: s-kobaya@jaist.ac.jp

(Authors with equal contribution)


We position gaming and simulation as one method for designing a community currency (CC) that matches the local customs and institutions at the introductory stage and discuss the effects of this method by analysing the results of the attempts made so far. In order to learn the CC system and to promote common understanding among different stakeholders, we made The Community Currency Game (CCG). We implemented the gaming to the residents who were planning to introduce a CC into their town. In the gaming, participants’ attitudes towards the diversity of money were positively affected and they began to recognize that the social network created by CC is important to the region. We found that through the virtual use of a CC in gaming, it is possible to share knowledge of participants’ perception of the CC and their resulting behaviours and utilize this knowledge to discuss a fundamental aspect of the CC and its design. We constructed a computer simulation model based on CCG to identify the factors that promote the circulation of CC. We found that the purchase rates of the area within town increased within three parameters: the premium rate of CC, the proportion of the CC in salaries, and the probability of volunteers with CC. As residents began to offer discounts according to the premium rate of the CC, shop evaluations inside the area increased. Therefore, this policy stimulates the local economy. However, the cost of the CC issue increased owing to the premium. On the other hand, policies in which the resident agents’ salaries were paid with CC and volunteers were paid by residents with CC are sustainable. These policies do not directly stimulate purchases inside the town. However, the purchase rate of the area within town gradually increases with the ratio of the CC in salaries. Moreover, the probability of volunteers increases according to habitual use of CC, community-oriented values, and the balance of CC. In this study, we found that simulation is an excellent method of presenting specific scenarios for a CC design based on the discussion in the gaming. Within the cooperative relationship between community residents and researchers, a method utilizing both gaming and simulation can be effective in designing a CC in the introductory stage, which until now, has been carried out on an ad hoc basis.

This paper focuses on the diverse development of modern community currencies (CCs) in Japan and provides a classification of them by type. Modern CCs appeared in the early 1970s and since then various types have circulated globally. With the increase in CC practices, academic research into CCs has emerged as a growing area of interest. However, since CC systems are diverse, it is difficult to obtain a commonly recognized definition of CCs, or criteria for their classification according to their characteristics. Since this problem is shared even by international researchers, it has become an important issue in the field. In this study, we confirm the definition and classification of CCs by surveying previous studies on Japanese CCs. Furthermore, this paper reveals the reality of CC systems that continue to evolve through a process of development and decline, by looking back at their history. In order to explain the evolutionary process, we employ the concept of “countermovement,” as advocated by economic anthropologist Karl Polanyi. Based on our outcomes, we describe three stages in the evolution of CCs, which are the reciprocal realm, integration between the reciprocal and market realms, and new realms.


gaming simulation, multi-agent simulation, institutional design

Article Yoshida & Kobayashi

To cite this article: Masayuki Yoshida and Shigeto Kobayashi (2018) ‘Using Simulation and Gaming to Design a Community Currency System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 132-144 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2018.011