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6cycle is a distribution game for closed-loop supply chains.

Game Setup

  1. Give each of the 4 players their starting materials (shown below).
  2. Set Marketshare as shown.
  3. Place 28 of Yellow and Grey Blargox in the Primary Pools, 2 of Yellow and Grey Blargox in the Waste Depot, and 6 Green Blargox in the Waste Depot.
  4. The Recycler will make the first move.

Game Objectives

To be the player with the most points after six complete rounds of play, without exhausting the world’s pool of resources.

  • Recyclers want to reduce as much waste as possible.
  • Manufacturers want to sell quality products which meet consumer demands.
  • Consumers want the goods they purchase to be produced sustainably.


Recycler’s Move

  1. Choose whether to recycle material in this round. If not, you end your turn. Manufacturers will have to pull from the Primary Pile to make their products.
  2. If no Material Passport is shared, take 2 of any color of Blargox (Yellow and/or Grey) from the Waste Depot, and place it along any one line in the corresponding Cost Curve. If a Material Passport is shared, you may instead take any even number of Blargox (So: 0, 2, 4, 6, … Yellow Blargox and/or 0, 2, 4, 6, … Gray Blargox).


+1 point for each successful sale of recycled material

+ Revenue from sale of material to Manufacturer

– 1 point per piece of recycled material leftover

Manufacturers’ Moves

  1. Using your Manufacturer Specs card, determine how much Blargox will be necessary to make your product.
  2. To obtain Blargox, either purchase it from the Recycler (at the quality and points cost specified), or draw it from the Primary Pools (at your desired quality).
  3. A Manufacturer gets first dibs on recycled materials if only their Material Passport is shared. Otherwise, distribute all recycled material evenly among Manufacturers who order it.
  4. Assemble your product and ship it to the Consumer. You may attach an EcoLabel to your product to signal recycled content use. You may share 1 Material Passport with the Consumer, irrespective of recycled content.


-1 point when an EcoLabel is given to the Consumer

-2 points when Material Passport is given away

+1 point per turn for each Marketshare star > 5

Consumer’s Move

  1. Evaluate the sustainability of the products you receive. If one Manufacturer’s product was greener, you may choose to flip one Marketshare star in favor of that Manufacturer.
  2. If you receive a Material Passport from a Manufacturer, pass it to the Recycler.
  3. The end of your turn represents the end of life of your products. Discard them in the Waste Depot.
  4. Make note of the point scores for each player in this round on the Score Sheet.

Note: No negotiating! The Consumer votes with their feet. You may not speak during your turn.


+1 point for each EcoLabel received,

+1 point per purchase using recycled content,

if products’ Material Passport is shared

End of the Game

The game ends either at the end of the sixth round, or when either Primary Pool runs out of Blargox. If the Primary Pool is emptied before the end of the sixth round, the game terminates and all players lose. If the end of the sixth round is successfully reached, Manufacturers are awarded +1 bonus point for each star of Marketshare. The players with the most points win!

Moral of the Game

Blame-based thinking neglects the fundamental challenges of circularity.

Recycling is hard.

Manufacturing is hard.

Purchasing sustainably is hard.

Pointing fingers is easy. If we instead take a generous view of all stakeholders, which challenges remain in building and maintaining a circular supply chain? Could this difficulty somehow be core to maintaining a sustainable society? Can we reflect on our own assumptions and identify new solutions through play?


Game Design:

  • Poushali Maji
  • Evan Coleman


  • Philipp Leutiger
  • Sydney Sroka
  • Aneil Tripathy
  • Basuhi Ravi
  • MCSC Climate Scholars ‘23-’24


  • Allison Lam
  • Thomas James Hinton
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