Monday, 25 August 2008

Dangerous boardgames

A few weeks ago, police raided a climate camp in Kent and seized knives, chisels, bolt cutters...... and a board game! See: War on Terror boardgame branded criminal by police.

Aparently, the board game was confiscated becuase it contained a balaclava which "could be used to conceal someone's identity or could be used in the course of a criminal act". Yes, a very dangerous piece of equipment.

But when you start to look at the game, it is really rather good! Its a satire of Bush's War on Terror, based on a Risk format, but with all sorts of extra features which allow you, in addition to declaring war and conquering neighbouring countries, to train terrorist cells, launch strikes, and generally do all things terrorist. You can also bankrupt other conpetitors by playing the "Kyoto protocol" card, and at any time abandon the pursuit of of liberty and oil in favour of becoming a terror state . There is an "Axis of Evil spinner" intended to parody international diplomacy by randomly deciding which player is designated a terrorist state. That person then has to wear a balaclava (included in the box set) with the word "Evil" stitched on to it.

Its really most amusing. And the FAQs on the game's website are worth reading ( In response to the question, "Isn't it a bit tasteless?", the creators' simple answer is "That depends on your taste. Personally, we think the actual "War on Terror" is in pretty bad taste. This is just a board game". Can't argue with that!

So, having read the articles about the game in most major newspapers, Vicki decided that we needed to play the game and promptly ordered it. So that's what we did ALL Saturday night:

We discovered some useful things. Terrorism has many different cards to play, the distinction between a good move and a bad move is sometimes difficult to ascertain, and most importantly, the World Bank always wins.

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