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        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

                               PROBLEMS WITH MONEY

        We all have to deal with the same

        Money comes and money goes.

        We have to keep some in reserve,
        but income can be variable,
        and expenses can be all too steady.

        And when you spend some of those
        precious dollars, they are gone,
        with no reason to ever return to
        you as income.

        It's the same for every person and
        business in the community.  The
        barrels may look different but the
        game is the same.

        And it's the same for every
        community in our world.

        The community has money coming in,
        from exports, tourists, and from
        government expenditures.

        And it has money going out,
        for imported goods, for travel and
        tourism, and for taxes.

        As local industries lose export
        markets, money flows out of the
        community without being replaced.

        As the amount of money circulating
        decreases, so does trading.

        Businesses fail and people are

        Not because they have nothing to
        offer.  Simply because there is no
        money to go around.

        By supplementing the conventional 
        cash flow with a local currency, a 
        community can maintain full trading 
        and employment, and strengthen 
        itself against disturbances of the 
        external money supply.

        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-14-1   Page    1

        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

        The LETSystem, the Local Exchange Trading System, 
        is designed to meet this need.   A LETSystem can be 
        initiated in any community at very little expense and 
        administration is extremely simple.

        In addition to stimulating the local economy, a LETSystem can 
        also be used to generate substantial investment funds for 
        relevant local developments, generally at zero interest.

        An information package providing details of the theory, 
        establishment and administration of LETSystems is available  for 
        $20.   This  includes computer diskettes containing the software 
        necessary  to  run  a LETSystem,  and  the  support  program  for 
        LETSplay.    These diskettes are only available in IBM PC format 
        at present.

             LANDSMAN COMMUNITY SERVICES Ltd,    (604) 338-0213/0214
             375 JOHNSTON AVE,  COURTENAY,  B.C.,  V9N 2Y2,   CANADA

        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-14-1   Page    2

        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986


        LETSPLAY is designed to reflect the world, both as it is and as 
        it can be.

        LETSPLAY offers the player a simple and accurate appreciation of 
        community economics, and a clear understanding of a means whereby 
        we can better manage our affairs.

        LETSPLAY can be played by any number of players from 4 or 5 up to 
        1,000 or more.   The rules, identical to those of conventional 
        trading in the real world, are simple and the game can be played 
        by any intelligent child or adult.

        Players use imaginary money to trade with each other, both 
        earning and spending.   Each player starts with a certain number 
        of imaginary game dollars in a LETSPLAY conventional bank account 
        and with an imaginary LETSPLAY "green" dollar account, as used in 
        a LETSystem.   

        The game can be played in many variations, with as sophisticated 
        a relationship to local conditions as desired, yet even the 
        simplest game will demonstrate the limitations of conventional 
        money as a medium for effective trading, and show how the local 
        economy can be expanded using a LETSystem.

        One reason for playing LETSplay is to develop an understanding of 
        the process prior to participation in an active LETSystem.   
        Players have the opportunity to make informed judgements of the 
        likely effects on their personal or business income.

        Players may also discover the essential reasons for the inherent 
        stability of well-run LETSystems, the warning signs of one being 
        mismanaged, and the appropriate corrective action.   They will 
        also learn the simple guidelines that ensure that anyone can use 
        a LETSystem with absolutely no risk.

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        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

                             VARIATIONS IN LETSPLAY

        Workshop or seminar.

        LETSplay can obviously be used as a specific focus for meetings on
        LETSystems.  A program of about 2 to 3 hours will allow a well organised
        team to introduce complete novices to the concept, with one short game
        for familiarization, and a second to make the point.

        In conferences, academic conventions and such like, LETSplay can be
        effectively used as an ongoing backdrop to the main agenda.
        Interactions between players can take as little as a minute each, and so
        can fit easily into coffee breaks, or be used as occasional shifts of
        emphasis during meetings or as counterpoint to boring speeches.

        In both above circumstances it is useful to maintain a visual display of
        the game state.   This can be done most easily with coloured pins on a
        large wallchart.   The most important display is that of the
        distribution of green dollar balances for all players.

        In all cases it is advisable to have available some follow-up so that
        players who are intrigued but not yet convinced can continue to review
        the idea.    For this we recommend a telephone LETSplay.

        Telephone LETSplay.

        This is by far the easiest method of arranging LETSplay.   A list of
        telephone numbers of participating players is circulated and they call
        each other at whim.  After completing a transaction, one player calls
        the credit transfer to the game recorder.  Most LETSystems operate with
        a 24-hour message recorder which could be used for this as well.

        The advantage of this game is that it creates very little disruption of
        affairs, far less than an evening meeting, and can be an ongoing
        introduction to an established LETSystem.   Experienced members can help
        novices develop their understanding of both the game and the LETSystem

        Full frontal exposure.

        Most community newspapers are on the lookout for interesting copy,
        particularly if it might affect community affairs.   A very powerful
        communication of this idea could be developed with an alert and
        imaginative local press.  An initial exposure of the concept with an
        invitation to play to the general public (and perhaps some local
        personalities and representatives of interest groups) would yield
        interesting follow-up material at very little editorial expense.
        Similar processes can of course be developed with any local media,
        although radio, having no visual component, will be less effective.

        Adjusting the cash level.

        The simple game allows the amount of cash circulating to remain steady.
        However, to better simulate the real world, it is useful to have one or
        more players in the game use their accounts simply to progressively
        absorb cash from the other players, emphasising the effects of cash
        depletion in the community.

        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-14-1   Page    4

        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

                              Purposes of LETSplay
       1. Familiarisation
           Playing through any simulation of a LETSystem offers a risk
           free opportunity to find out how it works.    Finding out in
           the real world may not be quite so free of risk, and most
           people are understandably slow to do so.
           The community's management of its credit / commitment is
           greatly dependent upon a general appreciation of the chart of
           account balances.   The game develops that appreciation.
           The colour indications on the game chart are intended to
           guide players' decisions on so called "credit management" -
           actually acceptance of commitment - without imposing rules.
       2. Exploration of risks and protective strategies.
           The simple fact that ONLY those in credit are at any risk
           seems to be difficult for most people to understand at first.
           The game helps make it clear that those in commitment are
           totally secure from loss in any system collapse.
       3. Demonstration of the combination of currencies.
           People often think in "either/or" terms, and suppose that
           green and federal money are in some way mutually exclusive,
           or competitive, or that a local currency implies that the
           community withdraws from trading with the "outer" world.
           It is important to establish that ALL goods and services
           bought and sold in the community are potentially available
           partly in green, and to indicate the probable green/fed % in
           various sectors of the market.
           This leads hopefully to an understanding of the concept of
           "costs in cash / value added in green" which is the basis of
           ongoing convivial trading.
       4. Establishing the language.
           When discussing concepts of this nature, whether with
           esoteric economists or the more rational average member of
           the human race, it is critical that we are in fact talking
           about the same things.
           The game provides a consistent and realistic frame of
           reference within which all the pertinent points can at least
           be discussed, a context within which our conversations can be

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        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

                             Notes for LETSplayers
       All the essential instructions for playing the game are included
       on the game card itself - Rules and Methods.
       Generally the game is played with others, perhaps in a workshop,
       perhaps over a few days or a week by telephone, through mail or
       inter-office memos, or simply chance meetings between players.
       It can also be played solo, and indeed we recommend that you try
       this method at least once to see how it works.
       Normally, in a game with other players, your income is determined
       by who buys from you and what they buy.   In playing solo, you
       need to use some method of determining your income, that is, of
       selecting at random what items are purchased from you.
       There are two factors to consider - whether you get $100, $200,
       $300 or $400 in any sale, and what % of that sale is green.
       Use any random method you like.
       For instance, to determine the value, $100-$400, toss a coin
       twice.   Heads means the larger two, tails the smaller, then toss
       again for the larger or smaller of those.
       So -    heads & heads - $400,      heads & tails - $300,
               tails & heads - $200,      tails & tails - $100.
       Then select the % green by the pin and telephone book method - if
       you stick a 1 - 10%, if a 2 - 20%, etc up to a 0 - 100% green.
       Start the game by spending - limiting yourself for the first play
       to $200 green / $200 federal maximum - and then alternate earning
       and spending until your game is complete with one item purchased
       in each % green category - if you can !
       If you mark your chart neatly, then you may be able to play
       several games on one card - or photocopy the card and play with
       gay abandon.
       The solo game does not reveal all of the points about the
       limitations of "federal" $, but it does give a good introduction
       to "green" money.
       After playing LETSplay with others you might think about these
       questions -
           How well would you manage the game if you only had "federal"
           dollars to play with, and the prices were all the same ?
           How about if there were less "federal" per player - say only
           $100 ?
           What difference does another player's balance have on your
           situation ?  in "federal" ?  and in "green" ?
           What are the risks ?    How can you be secure from them ?

        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-14-1   Page    6

        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986

            LETSplay - Critical distinctions for critical thinkers.
       There are economic theorists who appreciate the need for local
       currencies without fully understanding precisely why they are
       necessary, or what specific criteria need be applied in their
       a) Limited versus appropriate money supply
           LETSplay, in its most basic form, treats both green and
           "federal" money as local, in that neither leaks from the
           Hence the game clearly demonstrates the inherent limitations
           of any currency issued in limited supply, local or general -
                the distributive context, tending to create competition
                for the money itself, and the separation into the rich
                and the poor, and
                the power relation, whereby the behaviour of those who
                have the money determines that of those who do not.
           In contrast, the freely available money provides -
                a contributive context, with no essential competition
                for money itself, allowing different levels of wealth,
                of income and expenditure, within which
                no individual significantly affects the options open to
       b) Limited versus general creation.
           Conventional money is issued into circulation primarily
           through lenders of last resort and the chartered banks.   If
           Joe Citizen tries this it is called counterfeiting.
           If a local currency IS issued in limited supply, there MUST
           be a similar limitation on who issues the money and how.
           In which case there is a local replication of the
           conventional power structure with all its inherent inadequacy
           and imbalance.
           In contrast, the practice of allowing ALL participants in the
           network to issue their own money is both equitable and
           essentially stable.
           It must be stressed that this characteristic has diminishing
           significance in bigger systems, which will thus only become
           fully practical as general understanding develops.

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        ID-14-1         LETSPLAY                      April 17th,  1986
       c) General versus limited circulation.
           An inevitable consequence of conventional money, which can,
           and does, leave the community without any control, is that the
           community is often left without any effective means to manage
           its own affairs.
           Varying the amount of "federal" dollars in the game will
           clearly demonstrate this.
       Notice that the above three characteristic distinctions are
       inextricably related.
           If a currency is NOT localised, then -
                the money must PRETEND to be "real", so -
                     its supply MUST be limited, and thus -
                     general creation by all participants is impractical
           If, however, the currency IS local, then -
                it can be recognised as purely symbolic, so -
                     its supply CAN vary as required, and thus -
                     all participants CAN have the right to issue their
                     own money.
       d) Inflation
           Inflation is, of course, a social disease.
           In a conventional money, this disease is both highly damaging
           and highly contagious.
           In a personal currency, however, it is merely a personal
           affair of no necessary significance to any other.
           The reasons for this are subtle, but the game will generally
           make it easier for the diligent thinker to discern them.

        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-14-1   Page    8

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