Image: "Debt Lifting" Team

By: Daan Dijksterhuis and Rachele Pesce

DEBT!!! Just seeing the word might have given you shivers. For many however, debt is not just a word read in passing; it is their reality.

Can you be certain that you will never have to face this foe? Do you want to gain a better understanding of what it is like to experience the struggle of debt? Would you like to have your preconceptions shattered by upfront and personal experiences?

Debt Lifting is a card game that teaches you about the toll of debt through physical activity. Not only is it a great game to play with your friends and family, but it is also an opportunity to learn more about the struggle of debt and the hardships associated with shedding this burden. Get your hands dirty, live the experience of the causality of life as well as the importance of your own skills and strengths and try to stay out of debt! Don’t take the game lightly, because the hand of fate might push you from a very fortunate position into one far less comfortable. A game of both logically thought out decisions and pure luck of the draw!


In Debt Lifting, your goal is to make it through the year – symbolized by 12 turns – with as much profit and as little debt as possible. In the game, you take turns, each turn giving you an event or a physical challenge to complete. Completing an event or challenge earns you bucks, the game’s currency. Failing to do so means you’ll hold onto that event, to be completed later. Holding on to past obligations comes at a cost, however. To win the game, you need to balance completing your events, playing around the game’s different cards, work together with your fellow players and efficiently manage your debt.


This game brings forward the issue of debt. It aims to teach players about certain aspects of the burden of debt. The main learning goals of this game regarding debt are:

  1. The importance of community support for debt relief.
  2. Universality of Debt: Anyone can fall into debt.
  3. Debt can be gained through endogenous and exogenous causes: Endogenous causes include decisions that you make – such as bad financial decisions – while exogenous causes are random, unexpected life events.
  4. Debt is a heavy burden and hard to get out of due to the physical and mental toll it takes on the individual, as well as the highly demanding nature of having to manage one’s assets and resources.
  5. Financial illiteracy can make it easier to fall into and exacerbate one’s debt quickly.

A detailed package for distribution is currently under development.

– Struggle in the City Team

Debt Lifting

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