Play to learn with satirical card game Tradewala

(Image courtesy of Rita Schultz)

Developed by Rita Schultz, ’05 ENG, Tradewalla, the frenzied group trading card game, forces players to make tough choices and balance today’s burning social issues, has been fully funded with Kickstarter. Nearly 100 backers raised $10,000 to bring the game to tables around the world during a 30-day campaign. Games will ship to backers and pre-order customers beginning December 2017.

Instead of trading stocks or commodities, Tradewala challenges players to simultaneously and blindly exchange cards depicting eight social issues – including gender inequality, politics, crime, health and war – until they collect all nine of the issue they wish to own. Stemming from the word “wala,” meaning an expert in their area of skill or trade, the winner of the game is crowned the Tradewala. This modern take on the popular group trading card game concept organically sparks important conversation after rounds of excitement at auction-style speed.

For Tradewala founder and first time game designer, Rita Schultz, exposure to these social issues inspired her to use this theme in a game that brings people together. As a first generation Indian American and avid traveler, she has seen the varying degrees of these social issues across the globe. More personally, gender equality is a priority issue for Rita given her experience in male-dominated areas – from her computer engineering degree to being the founder of her own business.

“We’re told to avoid talking politics at parties, but Tradewala raises our social IQ on issues like the environment, education and gender inequality in a frenzied and fun setting,” said Schultz. “It’s important to discuss ideas for positive change and share how our friends, family or even strangers are affected by what’s happening today. Tradewala gives us an approachable platform to do that face-to-face and out from behind screens without getting too serious.”

Tradewala adds a dollop of satirical humor in the illustrations of social issues on each card to make them more inviting to talk about. Folding that theme into a trading game engages the players quickly and elevates the excitement in any room. The game retails for $24.99 with free U.S. and discounted international shipping. Tradewala plays for approximately 30 minutes and is intended for three-to-eight players ages 12 and up. 

Giving Back

Beyond sparking conversation, Tradewala is committing a portion of proceeds to Bookwallah, a non-profit organization that creates libraries around the world to bring the magic of storybooks to orphans and children of trauma.

Follow Tradewala on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Join in the conversation about the game using #tradewalagame, purchase and find out more at