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Money Game

Posted by Sylvia Brenzel from Plenum


Group size

6 – 500

Subgroup size

groups of 10 - 15

Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed



60 minutes – 2 hours

Experience level of the facilitator

taken part OR some facilitation experience

Number of facilitators


Location requirements

The game is played on a table. There is nothing on the table but money. Each participant has a notepad and a pen ready in hand.

In the case of large groups (more than 15 people) where it is not possible to play on a table, here are some suggestions:
- The game takes place on the floor, whereby each person chooses a point in the room to place his pile of money and identifies this by placing a personal object by the side of it.
- The rounds take place as described but the person moves around the room now taking from and giving to the other peoples’ piles. As several transactions may be done one after the other it may be necessary to make a rule that participants need to return regularly to their pile and deposit the money there, not simply walk around with money in their hands while they are not transacting.
- The note-taking is best done just once, at the end of the three rounds.


Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

We have a lot of feelings about how much money we have and don't have; how much money other people have and don't have; how money is distributed in the world and about the 1% who own 99% of the world's assets.
- But what does money really mean?
- How does it relate to feeling valued or having true wealth?
- Is there a playful way that we can explore our attitudes towards money and what is really valuable?

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

6 Prototyping

Method Category:



The object of the money exercise is to create an experiential field for people to observe themselves and gain consciousness, primarily in regard to their relationship to money but also in a wider sense.


Money Exercise



The object of the money exercise (or game*) is to create an experiential field for people to observe themselves and gain consciousness, primarily in regard to their relationship to money but also in a wider sense. This goal is made explicit to the participants at the outset and, if necessary, repeated during the game.

The observation is in respect of:
- My behaviour in the game
- The recurring habits I discover while playing
- My thoughts and feelings during the game
- My energy levels in the course of each transaction

*Definition of Game: “Where what is not real is more important than what is” (Robert Hargrove, Masterful Coaching). In the context of this definition, one might say that where the money is restored to its original amount at the end this is a game, but where it is not restored - as in the Findhorn Money Game - this is not a game, but real.


“The Money Game” was invented by Daniel Ofman, Findhorn Foundation, and furthermore adapted by Peter Koenig.

Link to a more complex method, of which this Method is part of




Each participant is previously asked to bring a significant sum of money that it would be an "edge" for them to lose.

PREPARATION (excluding materials)

Have in mind:

The facilitator is the guarantor of the framework, which defines the duration of the game and its rules (for example: whether participants are allowed to physically hold on to the money in their piles or not, create a fresh pile representing “community money” or not, whether the original amounts brought by each participant are to be reinstated or not - other things that may arise during the game itself).

1 Introduction & Sharing about the sums

The game starts with a sharing by each as to why and how the sum was chosen and why it is significant. This enables the limits to be tested: the amount should be enough so that it is “felt” (i.e. if such a sum were won or lost the person’s heart might skip a beat, but not be such an amount that it would be devastating). The facilitator should write down each person’s amount so that if the original amounts are to be reinstated at the end, this can be controlled.

The length of each round is decided by the facilitator, can be between 3 and 10 minutes. Trust and follow your intuition. If there is no movement on the table, this is not necessarily the moment to stop the round. Allow tension and awkwardness to be present and be felt if it is there. It is best to stop the round independently from the situation going on in the game, for example by looking away and deciding to stop it at a particular time on your watch.

The game is played in three rounds. At the start each person has his or her money in a pile in front of them.

After each round allow the participants 2 to 4 minutes to jot down the most important things they observed, things that they will find interesting to review after the game is over.

2 Round 1

In silence, take money from someone else’s pile and put it on your own.

3 Round 2

In silence, take money from your pile and place it on someone else’s.
(Possible variation during this round: You may accompany your gift with some words to the person).

4 Round 3

You may take as in Round 1 or give as in Round 2 but only with the permission of the other person. The permission is asked for with a question such as: “May I have ….” or “May I give you…” and is answered with “Yes” or “No”. There is no negotiation.

5 Round 4

It is recommended that a fourth round is added where all the money is pushed to the centre of the table and each person in their own time recovers their original amount.

6 Round 5 (optional)

After the fourth round, a fifth one can also be proposed which is the same as Round 2 but in this case the participants will now finish up with the amount of money in front of them, once there is no movement on the table for 10 consecutive seconds. The facilitator counts down from 10 aloud each time money passes from one participant to another, until no further movement occurs for the full 10 seconds. The round and game is then over. It is preferable not to announce to the participants in advance whether their original amount will be reinstated at the end of the game, i.e. whether they might win or lose money.


Each person has the possibility to share their experience of the game. Of most interest are insights that the person has gained as a result of the experience. Of secondmost interest is the sharing of the experience itself, the thoughts, feelings, observation about energy levels and behaviour that the person may have noticed. Of least interest are accounts of the actual actions that occurred, though immediately after the game there is usually a need for people to share at least some of these. Should it seem that the recounting of actions is going on too long (the group’s ability to listen to these is limited), ask for a sharing on the experience of the feelings while the actions were taking place. Follow that with asking whether the person can derive any insights from what was experienced?

After the first sharing round is complete a second may take place in which each person has the opportunity to receive feedback from the others on how it was to transact money with them, or with their lack of movement should this be what occurred - while the game was taking place.


Trainers for this method can be hired here:

http://www.plenum.at/ http://www.plenum.at/de/wer-wir-sind/team.html

Train-the-trainer seminars for this method can be found here:


Anything else one should know about this method?

Allow yourself plenty of authority to not just follow these guidelines and suggestions but to vary them, experiment with and develop them.

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