Swiss National Bank
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Common pool resources

Common pool resources

Fishpond game

This unit deals with the overuse of shared resources; various possible solutions are discussed.

  • The ‘Fishpond’ group game is played with the whole class.
  • The associated exercises can be differentiated to suit the level of the class.
  • A projector is required.
  • The game masks can be ordered or downloaded.

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Other languages
German, French, Italian
Preparation of class
In-depth study using teacher’s notes, video tutorials or training recommended.
Lesson duration
2–4 lessons

Anonymity, Common pool resources, Economic types of goods, Environmental problems, Externalities, Free riding, Incentives, Internalisation, Market failure, Overuse, Private goods, Public goods, Role of the state, Scarcity of resources, Social norms, The common good, Tragedy of the commons

Latest change

23.03.2020: Complete revision of unit. There is now only one task set, consisting of some old and numerous new exercises.

Change log Show change log Hide change log

12.02.2019: Upload of a check sheet for teachers




Johannes Binswanger, SIAW-HSG
Petra Gerlach, SNB

Educational consulting
Markus Ulrich, UCS Ulrich Creative Simulations GmbH
Roman Capaul, University of St. Gallen
Beatrix Winistörfer-Hafen, Environmental Education, Hochschule Wädenswil

Design of printed material
clearbrand gmbh, Zurich

Translation & proofreading
SNB Language Services

Game development
UCS Ulrich Creative Simulations

Design of game masks
Fauxpas Grafik GmbH, Zurich

Production of game masks
Mattenbach AG
















Commentary for teachers (PDF, 363 KB)
Unit information


Tips on preparing and playing the game
Tips on preparing and playing the game
Slides for teachers
Slides for teachers
Teacher evaluation


Teacher evaluation


Score sheet for players
Score sheet for players
Knowledge sheet
Knowledge sheet


The Tragedy of the Commons


In this game, students are asked to fish in a pond with limited capacity. The masks for the game can be downloaded as a PDF or ordered using the link below.

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Additional information (1)

Public goods

Knowledge sheet with assignment