Monday, March 20, 2006

It's a game... where you lose your rights

Most people are familiar with Monopoly®, the board game which emerged from the Great Depression and which saw unemployed salesman Charles Darrow become a millionaire. What most people don't know is that the most popular board game in the world was a parody of life at the time it was invented. As entertaining as it may be, one only has to look at what conditions existed at the time to know that there is a dark side to the game.

Well, move over Parker Brothers, there's a new board game on the block.

The Patriot Act Board Game has hit the streets and instead of not passing Go! and not getting $200, you go to Guantanamo and you lose your civil liberties.

The object of the game is not to amass the most money or real estate, but to be the last player to retain civil liberties.

"I've had people complain to me that when they play, nobody wins. They say 'We're all in Guantanamo and nobody has any civil liberties left,' " he said. "I'm like 'Yeah, that's the point.' "
It's played much the same as Monopoly, but it has its own unique flavour.

In a nod to President George W. Bush's prewar comments, the "Go" space is renamed "Bring It On!" Players roll the dice to determine how many civil liberties they start out with, accumulating them from a variety of categories: U.S. citizens get five; non-citizens one. Whites and Asians get five; Arabs one. Ultra right-wingers get six; Democrats three or four.
Michael Kabbash is the developer of the game and has it available on the internet, here. Despite what the linked article says, it doesn't appear to be free. But it does look like fun.

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