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Subject: Universal Basic Income Design Contest rss

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Could basic income alleviate inequality in Korea?

The Korean magazine Hangyeoreh 21 is launching a game design contest in collaboration with Kakao Story Funding and Korea Boardgames. It’s about answering a simple question: “Would you like to receive a basic monthly income of 1.35 million won – or about $1200US?”

Game designers are well-suited to explore issues surrounding the universal basic income.

You’ll be tasked with designing a game about a society that guarantees fixed income to anyone. By letting us experience the reality of basic income, can such a game influence how we feel about equal opportunities? Could this income be a new hope for Hell Joseon?

We are counting on you to turn the imagination into reality.

The contest will be conducted and evaluated by the representatives of Korea Boardgames. The first prize winner will be published and commercialized by the company (if no game has enough potential for publishing, there will no 1st prize winner).

If the game is published, it will be the first board game based on basic income in the world!

Contest Information

Assignment

Design a tabletop game based on basic income, with a playtime under one hour.

Outline

Submitted games will go through two evaluation phases.

1 Jury will evaluate rules and entry form sent by each contestant and select finalists for 2nd phase.
2 Jury will evaluate prototypes sent by contestants selected in the previous phase, and select winners.

Submission

ghiot@koreaboardgames.com
Korea Boardgames (3F, Contest), 10 Yopung-gil, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do 413-841, Korea.

Submission Requirements

Game description (no longer than single A4 page)
Complete rules (only .pdf, .doc or .ppt accepted)
1-2 pictures of gameplay
Author information form
Signature must be handwritten. When submitting your project by mail, please print the form to sign and scan it (or take a clear picture of the form) to send it to the Jury.

Deadline

The submission deadline is February 1st, 2017 (submissions sent by post stamped on that date are taken into account).

Schedule

1 Announcement of 1st phase finalists: February 13th
2 2nd phase prototype sent to Jury: from February 14th to March 10th
3 Announcement of winners: March 31th

Prizes

1st place:
1,000,000 won
(~$850US at time of publication)

2nd place: 400,000 won
(~$350US at time of publication)

3rd place: 200,000 won
(~$170US at time of publication)


Please be aware that under the Articles 21 and 33 of Korea’s Corporation & Income Tax Law, prizes are subject to taxes.

Additional rules

Rights of the game remain author’s property at all times.
Number of games submitted by a contestant is not limited to 1.
Submitted games should not be previously published. Games already going through another contest or under contract with another publisher cannot be submitted.
All entry forms and prototypes sent to Jury will not be send back afterwards.
Korea Boardgames cannot use or publish any submitted entry form and prototype without author’s consent. If
Korea Boardgames wants to use it for commercial purposes, the company must sign a contract in due form with the author.
Any submission that is not an author’s original work will be disqualified, prize will be canceled, and prize money will be reclaimed.
Korea Boardgames will not be held responsible for any unsolicited mail the company receives.
Any contestants who don’t fulfill the requirements outlined herewith will be disqualified.
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Kris Verbeeck
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Great contest.

I am a believer that a basic income is the way to go for each citizen above 18 until they die.

you give people the opportunity to pay for their studeis even if they didn't have a "good" background and you take care of your elder since a regular pension won't cut it for most.


The idea is that if you give people enough to lead a basic life you give them options what to do with their life.
Thus living a happier life.
So a shift from wellfare to wellbeing.

I believe that people will be able to be more creative and because of that extra jobs will be created.
People will also be able to do what hey are good at or what they reallay want to do. Instead of living from paycheck to paycheck in a job they do so they can pay the bills.


You get jobs because they will pay for your fancy car, house or whatever instead of living from paycheck to paycheck.

I have thought about this often and the only reason not to implement a basic income is the "loss" of a lot of government jobs. As the government is implementing it this will mean it is pretty tough to do. People in government jobs receive a better pension than most and with the besic income pensions will disappear.

In order for a basic income to work there should be an accurate calculation of how much money someone needs.
This is tough because life has a different cost depending on where you live.

Each country would have a different income needed.

The goal of the basic income is that you could have a basic life if you receive that amount of money.
I believe in Belgium it should be around 1500 euro a month at this time.

With that amount of money you should be able to pay for your life expenses

If you want to be able to have a nice fancy vacation each year you still have to work for it.
You can do this to keep doing the work you do. Start doing something different or start a company on your own.
the earnings you receive for these endeavors can be possibly less as they are now (because you pay taxes to maintain this model) but it is my believe that these differences are minimal.
And besides if it fails you have the backup of the basic income.


unemployment benefits and pensions handed out by the government can't coexist with the basic income.
Healthcare and child benefits do co-exist.
Diseases or sickness related to work shouldn't be taken care of by the government.
And the state would receive a bigger cut of your paycheck


Now there are a couple of things here that I still question this day and age.

Why does electricity, water and internet still cost money.
If those are in the hands of the government being able to give them for free should be part of the operating cost of the government.
Electricity and water are basic needs.
And the internet is your information hub.

Easter egg: If you come this far and tip me two cents I tip 2GG back . sorry for the rant.

Think about this.
I work fifteen years in the same factory and our output has doubled yet we do that with only 10% more people than when i started thanks to automatization.

There won't be work for everyone and not being able to find a job even if you do now makes you an outcast.
It shouldn't.
So I hope that those people that do want to work will get a chance because of the basic income.


When people can do a job that they are passionate about be it for the job or the pay.... they will deliver better results.

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Craig Stockwell
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Thank you for the contest!

While good tabletop designers may have a strong opinion (pro- or con-) about UBI, we're able to set that aside in order to make a fun, balanced, *and* compelling game exploring the topic -- and not just those of us who studied economics at university. ^_^

I hope you receive many excellent submissions, and find one (or more!) games of publishing quality.
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had a talk at Republica (a german tech/culture/politics conference) how Boardgame Designers would do politics, and concluded a Basic Income Grant would be a likely outcome.
Unfortunately, it is in German.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSOj32Jh9rA

(In a nutshell: he talks about Boardgame Problems - f.e. Runaway Leader, Player Elimination and how to keep players motivated. In the talk, he mentions that one big change in Modern Boardgames is a "Basic Income" every round.)
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Jae
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Do you think you could talk to someone about getting the author form reduced to one page? I dislike having my signature on a separate page from what it is for.
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Thanks for sharing, Incredibul - great video!
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Jae - that's a good point and the information form has now been updated to fit on a single page.
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Quentin N.
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Kris,

I think that sadly the idea of instoring a basic income won't work anywhere in the world right now. I live in France, and my country is one of the most "social aid" inclined amongst capitalists countries right now, so I know the state can support a lot of effort to create aids.

And I also know the flaws of this system. The cost of an UBI would be unbelievable. If it was granted only to the unemployed, it would represent 99 792 000 000 euros a year, which means 288% of my government annual net income. And an UBI would have to extend to the students, and retired people, wich means it would apply to 35% of the population, raising the costs to rougthly to 1 000% of the annual income.

Even if the other aids could be wiped, if we want to keep at least our almost free schooling system, it would still be impossible.

Plus with 1200 euros you can live well. I am a student, and I live with about 800 euros a month. And I know plenty of people that would gladly live without working if they were given 800 a month.

Furthermore, 1200 is roughtly our minimal wage here. Who would work as a cashier, 140 hours au month, while you can get the same amount of money doing nothing? The unemployment rate would go up drastically. If we consider that the people with a few hundred euros income up this limit would drop their jobs too, that would represent 80% of the active population.

And if we had to raise the minimal wage accordingly (let's say to 2000 net), prices of all the merchandises will double.

The system would equilibrate, as is it technically impossible, and in this manner becomes as stupid as saying "let's print out 1000 euros bills and give them to everyone that way everybody gets rich".


I would like to know if this idea is seriously discussed in SK.
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Kris Verbeeck
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Quentin,

Having read a lot about Basic income I don't believe that the cost of the system is a big problem.
I have to admit to get there I don't see everybody quitting their job. If they do it is unaffordable.

Infact I believe that basic income will generate more work not from the government but through local entrepreneurs.


For me there are two huge hurdles though.

The biggest one is people that have to see this reformation through won't get the big pension that they would get if it remains the same...

For me the other hurdle is an ethical one.
What about migration?
How soon would people "qualify" for that basic income?
And would countries that implement a basic income first be flooded by immigrants because of that?

 
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Steven Tu
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I'm really interested in this topic, it's one that I've read up about here and there and engaged in many discussions about.

I used to think it was a really good idea, then someone mentioned inflation - which makes sense to be the big downfall as handing everyone an equal amount of money means that equal amount of money becomes worthless as value only exists in comparison.

BUT!

A millionaire getting $1000 and someone starting with $0 getting $0 are very different scenarios, and it does seem like that contrast would still exist and enable those without to do better, raising the overall happiness quotient. The system would become instabilised, but would settle to a new equilibrium after...

It's an interesting thought experiment to see if it can be demonstrated as a boardgame, but if the game's presupposed position is "UBI is good" then it'll be a self-affirming design. The challenge, I suppose, is to come up with a unbiased design!
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Quentin & Kris:

Basic Income has already been tried in Canada through an experiment designed and run by American conservatives(ref: https://public.econ.duke.edu/~erw/197/forget-cea%20(2).pdf ). It was an absolute success, until the unfortunately killed the program. So here is what we learned from their experiment:

People did not quit their jobs in droves.
There was an equalization of married couples where one spouse gave up their full time job to raise their children. But often that spouse would maintain partial employment in a field of interest or pursued education.

Use of medical services dropped significantly.

Pregnancy rates dropped significantly.

Graduation rates increased dramatically.

The number of people pursuing higher degrees increased.

The population reported being "happier".

Prices remained mostly stable though slightly elevated.


As for how you pay for it, remember that with basic income, you no longer require general entitlement programs such as pensions, welfare and housing assistance. Additionally, with a lighter strain on the medical system, health based costs will be reduced. On top of all of this, you won't need as much government oversight because of the elimination of these programs leading to significant cost savings. On the revenue generation side, with more people able to afford goods and services there will be a drive in demand for goods which will increase the need for production which will in turn increase the GDP which will benefit from a greater tax base from which to generate resources. It is a bit of a bootstrap system, but it would be self-sustaining.


And on the question of immigration....well that's the sticky wicket.
I suspect we would have to move to a globalized system of government before we can solve that problem.
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KrisVerbeeck wrote:
Why does electricity, water and internet still cost money.

Give people enough money to cover these expenses and they will use, and pay for, as little as they can.

Give them free electricity and suddenly a lot of very, very inefficient electricity uses become viable. Why shovel my sidewalk when an electric furnace blasting hot air is so much easier? Do you really want to see an entire city with inefficient heaters blasting in front of every building?

Give away free water and suddenly it seems like a good idea to keep a sprinkler going on the lawn 24 hours a day for an entire hot summer? Why not, it's free!

Perhaps good citizenship would prevent the most egregious misuses, but history shows social responsibility isn't generally a steady, controllable commodity.
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John duBois
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There are a lot of theories on how basic income could work, but nothing resembling solid empirical data. Until we have that data, any claims ranging from "it's the solution to automation of the workforce" to "people will abuse free things by running their their sprinklers all day long" is at best hypothesizing and at worst the construction of straw men.

That's why I find the design contest so intriguing - it's a way to explore the concept.

For those interested in the concept from a real world application angle, this is the article I've found that best combines thoroughness and readability: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/
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K Septyn
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I'm not an admin, but remember that politics is generally best kept in the RSP forums. Failing to do so could get the thread moved.
 
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Septyn wrote:
I'm not an admin, but remember that politics is generally best kept in the RSP forums. Failing to do so could get the thread moved.


I would argue that the nature of this design requires said discussion.
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JohnduBois wrote:
There are a lot of theories on how basic income could work, but nothing resembling solid empirical data. Until we have that data, any claims ranging from "it's the solution to automation of the workforce" to "people will abuse free things by running their their sprinklers all day long" is at best hypothesizing and at worst the construction of straw men.

That's why I find the design contest so intriguing - it's a way to explore the concept.

For those interested in the concept from a real world application angle, this is the article I've found that best combines thoroughness and readability: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/


Actually there was a study in Canada: https://public.econ.duke.edu/~erw/197/forget-cea%20(2).pdf
 
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Bagherra wrote:
JohnduBois wrote:
There are a lot of theories on how basic income could work, but nothing resembling solid empirical data. Until we have that data, any claims ranging from "it's the solution to automation of the workforce" to "people will abuse free things by running their their sprinklers all day long" is at best hypothesizing and at worst the construction of straw men.

That's why I find the design contest so intriguing - it's a way to explore the concept.

For those interested in the concept from a real world application angle, this is the article I've found that best combines thoroughness and readability: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/


Actually there was a study in Canada: https://public.econ.duke.edu/~erw/197/forget-cea%20(2).pdf

The article I linked discusses MINCOME and what problems exist with the study.

That could be where an interesting game lies, though - running a randomized control trial for MBI/UBI while dealing with external factors like political will...
 
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Bagherra wrote:
Septyn wrote:
I'm not an admin, but remember that politics is generally best kept in the RSP forums. Failing to do so could get the thread moved.


I would argue that the nature of this design requires said discussion.


And I would argue that the nature of this discussion shows the problem with the design contest.

A board game design has to be fun and present a challenge - competitive or cooperative - to the player/s. A strict similation isn't really a game, per se - at least not on its own. And even building a simulation would require the designer to make a lot of assumptions about the subject matter, especially given the paucity of empirical evidence. Those assumptions are going to makena huge difference to the way the "basic income" concept works in the game, and thus how the game presents the political concept.

It is my belief that any game made on this basis will inherently be a political statement: either supporting or rejecting the concept of basic income. The designer will inherently be presenting it as an unsubstatiated boon or an unsubstatiated failure depending on what mechanisms they choose to build into their game to represent it.



(I happen to think it would probably work if implemented as a diminishing "safety net" that reduces not-quite-proportionally to regular income, but it'd probably need a lot of extra 'control' legislation to prevent profitering from landlords, utility companies etc. ... But I have no idea how I'd make a game about it!)
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Of course it'll be a political statement of whoever makes it. In fact just about every game made is a political statement. Chess is pro-war (A scene in Arrival says this very eloquently), Poker is pro-rich, Monopoly started as anti-landlords.

I don't think creating an interesting game and discussing/exploring a political stance need to be intrinsically separated. I mentioned already above that I believe whatever games people make will intrinsically make a bunch of assumptions... And I think that's okay too

Better talk about something important in a flawed way than to skip it over completely, given the options
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Tuism wrote:
Of course it'll be a political statement of whoever makes it. In fact just about every game made is a political statement. Chess is pro-war (A scene in Arrival says this very eloquently), Poker is pro-rich, Monopoly started as anti-landlords.


I know this idea that "all media is inherently political" is a very popular one amongst certain modern political circles, but I tend to find it a bit facile, to be honest. All media is a product of it environment in one way or another, but to presume that it necessarily has to reflect that environment is to basically deny the agency of the designer entirely - and to declare that the designer is necessarily making a deliberate political statement not only denies their agency but is very presumptuous indeed. "The death of the author" is a fashionable toy of the politically nascent but that doesn't mean their interpretation of it is completely true.

(I specifically disagree with Poker and Chess, whatever some Hollywood screenwriter says to prop up their movie plot.)


Regardless, the distinction here is that humanity has been having wars for a very, very long time, and we know how they work. However, in order to build a game about basic income you will be making mechanical decisions about how basic income should affect your game state. Unlike "physical conflict" or "being rich" or even "landlords creating local monopolies to extort money from the working classes", which are all well-understood mechanical phenomena, basic income is an unknown quantity.

The designer may think that providing money for free would dramatically increase inward migration, for example, and design a game where basic income causes progressively more foreigner cards to be added to the population deck. There's political arguments in favour of that notion, but there's also arguments against, and the designer is making a political prediction/faith-based design decision based on realistically near-zero real-world evidence in order to decide what happens in a hypothetical real-world scenario. You can't compare this to "when a person gets attacked they may die" or "if there is a cost associated with X then not being able to meet that cost generally means you can't X".


Tuism wrote:

Better talk about something important in a flawed way than to skip it over completely, given the options


Sure, and I would absolutely welcome more discussion and particularly more careful study and experimentation around basic income. I think it's a really interesting idea which could be potentially very beneficial!

But I think it's somewhere between naïve and reckless to believe that designing a board game around something important is the same thing as actually talking about it. Designing a board game has agency and in this case would involve making some very significant assumptions about the thing without it being necessarily clear to the players that these were assumptions that got made. Designing a board game isn't a discussion, it's a single statement made by a single person - that might or might not fit into a larger debate or exploration.

The OP suggests, for example:

Korea Boardgames Dev wrote:

Game designers are well-suited to explore issues surrounding the universal basic income.


Korea Boardgames Dev wrote:

By letting us experience the reality of basic income, can such a game influence how we feel about equal opportunities?


- and I think these are two very distinct concepts. The first one is suggesting that games could provide insight into the pros or cons of basic income; this I dispute for the reasons above. The second one is far more realistic, but it's basically asking for propaganda to persuade people of one opinion or another - which is the antithesis of exploring an idea scientifically.

Oh, and:
Korea Boardgames Dev wrote:

It’s about answering a simple question: “Would you like to receive a basic monthly income of 1.35 million won – or about $1200US?”


The answer is "yes please".
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Kris Verbeeck
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Bichatse wrote:
Bagherra wrote:
Septyn wrote:
I'm not an admin, but remember that politics is generally best kept in the RSP forums. Failing to do so could get the thread moved.


I would argue that the nature of this design requires said discussion.


And I would argue that the nature of this discussion shows the problem with the design contest.

A board game design has to be fun and present a challenge - competitive or cooperative - to the player/s. A strict similation isn't really a game, per se - at least not on its own. And even building a simulation would require the designer to make a lot of assumptions about the subject matter, especially given the paucity of empirical evidence. Those assumptions are going to makena huge difference to the way the "basic income" concept works in the game, and thus how the game presents the political concept.

It is my belief that any game made on this basis will inherently be a political statement: either supporting or rejecting the concept of basic income. The designer will inherently be presenting it as an unsubstatiated boon or an unsubstatiated failure depending on what mechanisms they choose to build into their game to represent it.



(I happen to think it would probably work if implemented as a diminishing "safety net" that reduces not-quite-proportionally to regular income, but it'd probably need a lot of extra 'control' legislation to prevent profitering from landlords, utility companies etc. ... But I have no idea how I'd make a game about it!)



I was thinking that if you make the game so that the player acts as the government of a country
Have a happiness track sort of like in through the ages.
and determine the success of the project by a couple of other tracks.
Have an income,expense track and a fund track for the government.
This shows the health of the program and has an effect on the happiness track.

By giving each country a different identity (e.g. : things that are more important to them).

to add replayability add 3/5 Main factors and 3/10 off "less" important things to deal with .
Before these factors are determined each country has some money to spend to invest in those topics.

Each player has 5 chips for the "main" factors and 5 chips for the less important factors.

After the voting you do a quick ranking of the most important factors. 1-5 and only the top 5 by the less important ones. And your placed chip is telling how important you think it would be.

You can score the game here if you decide to score the tracks depending on where everything ended up and based upon how much you invested in those topics.
This could lead in a discussion why you were succesfull or not.

Or you can play a full game with events coming up, Opportunities and pitfalls. these will score differently for each player depending on which country they are and what they voted to be their main focus points in the beginning of the game.

The events could be that unemployment has gone up or down.
Depending on how your track is build up (and how much you spend in the beginning on the topic of unemployment the effect is different.
You play through a number of events and for each topic you have a positive and a negative effect)
For example if unemployment has gone up income for the state is less. (this is a oversimplification) and happiness could go either up or down depending on your personal picks at the start of the game)

Events can lead to bankruptcy in which the player has to do an adjustment in his happinessmeter and income meter to continue playing but from than on the Basic income implementation has failed.

This won't be an accurate simulation of the basic income but the goal of the game is to have the discussion on the topics and
Why does a player think a topic is important these topics are so important and the others less so.
And what does the government need to do as well as what do the people need to do in order to make it succesfull. which mindset is needed and do you believe people will have that mindset and why.

If I was able to do one tenth of the researh that Phil Eklund does I could do a background of the countries in the game and explain the difference from a historic point of view) the chosen topics in detail and why they are important. Existing projects
What do we think of these findings?

the discussion could lead to old science fiction novels (For us the living), why past projects worked (was it because they were temporarily as some suggest) . the very unsuccesfull Swiss referendum. And if there is no discussion at least people have thought about the consequences during the game.

the downside of this "game" is that in this there are zero decisions to take during the game and is bascicly just an adjustment of your tracks. the only thing that is does accomplish is to let people think about the consequences.

In order to be it a real game players need to be able to spend some sort of in fluence for them alone on the events.
Not knowing which events come up later and their influence it will be a very random game. In which the winner will be determined by which cards show up last.

This could be done by using a small modification (depleting a personal happinessmeter that at the end of the game gives you bonus happyness.)
It needs a different sort of weighing of the effects though. (Harder to do well)

all in all I have no problem with randomness because the goal of the game would be discussion on those topics. and do we regard some as to important and neglect some real important issues?
Being succesfull in this game wouldn't be based upon a political view but just as what is considered important in this game.

Infact you could make it even more random by adding a dieroll to the result of each topic.






 
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Somebody is surely going to design a game in which robots/machines/AI/etc have replaced all of the jobs in the world. All world citizens have been given a monthly stipend. However, the evolved AI superpowers now see mankind as a burden to the planet. As a race that doesn't bring value to the world. With the machines controlling all aspects of life, they have decided to wage war on the humans. Money can't buy anything from the machines anymore - as it is meaningless to them. You and a small group of survivors are all that remain. Do you have what it takes to take the world back?

Looks like a fun contest! GL to all entering!
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Daniel Frese
Germany
Wuppertal
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Mission accomplished, now waiting on february 13th.
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Steven Tu
South Africa
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I really really wanted to enter this and had been thinking about it a lot, but didn't manage to get a design out in time. Best of luck to all entrants and looking forward to what you guys come up with!
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Danny Goodisman

Washington
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Where will the finalists be announced?
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