Meal DealWritten on June 1st , 2023 by Oliver Bates
Meal Deal - A Gig Economy Courier Card Game
What does it look and feel like to be in the saddle, with a bag full of hot food on your back, as your traverse city high-rises looking for the address of customer? What is the financial impact of waiting around all day for work that never comes? Is it worth pushing your luck and taking a risk if it makes the difference in wages?
The lived experiences of cycle couriers are often invisible to consumers. Their needs can side-lined by app-developers who focus on the customer experience rather than that of the worker.
Meal Deal invites players to share experiences that gig economy cycle couriers face. When we say gig economy courier we mean workers who access work through platforms like Deliveroo or UberEats and deliver food, medicine, and other consumer goods on their bicycles.
Meal Deal is a game that puts players in the saddles of cycle couriers working in the gig economy. With a finite amount of stamina on tap each day, the cards allow players to weave their own gig economy story expanding on research with couriers who’ve worked in Manchester, York and Edinburgh in the UK as part of the Switch-Gig and FlipGig research projects.
Meet the team
Meal Deal was developed by Oliver Bates and Ben Kirman.
From the rules:
Meal Deal is a game about cycle delivery that puts you in the role of a courier using an app to find work. It is for 1-4 players and takes around 30 minutes to play.
The aim of the game is to make enough money to pay rent, by taking courier jobs delivering food and groceries by bicycle, and dealing with the challenges of this kind of work.
DOWNLOAD THE CARDS
Development Story Snapshots
Game Design Workshop, November 2022. Sketch Note Credit: Pick-Art