Recently released, “War on Terror – The Board Game” has met some fierce backlash from terrorist victims as well as the general media. But is it really in bad taste, or is it something more?
Andy Tompkins and Andrew Sheerin, both from Cambridge are the people behind the boardgame based on global terrorism and have already run into storms of protest over their idea.
The Cambridge duo got an early taste of the possible backlash when they were thrown out of one toy fair, and banned from a further two.
The game comes with an “Evil Balaclava” and players can collect “suicide bomber cards” bearing the slogan: “Like a boomerang, but more dangerous. And he doesn’t come back.”
But the venture has sparked fury among the gaming community.
One post on boardgamegeek.com message board says the game is: “Offensive no matter which side of the war you are on.”
The writer adds: “Even if you don’t favour the war, why would you want to play a game that allowed you to be a suicide bomber? Deplorable.”
Garry Clarke posts: “I’m all for political debate, and even satire, but I’m not sure if a board game is the correct platform, adding, “I really think that it actually cheapens and degrades our society.”
The makers claim they aren’t doing anything wrong and that the venture is “satire” and that the game isn’t “insensitive”, but rather fun for “all the family”.
Mr Sheerin said: “We hope people will pick up on the satire and that they’ll have fun playing it, because we think it is a good game.
“But also that it will help underline the various things that we feel strongly about like the hypocrisy and the double-standards.”
He added: “I would hope that the victims of terrorism would welcome this game in that it is an attempt to open an honest debate.”
Strangley, I believe that this game is in bad taste and doesn’t help the discourse for those who oppose the war on terror, for whatever reason, and yet I can’t go as far as some people who say that this game should be banned, or that the co-creaters should be locked up for incitement to terrorism.
Indeed, I do understand what they are trying to do. Some people have argued that games like Risk (world conquest), and even Monopoly (greed) are just as bad. Even Monopoly had it’s “Ghettopoly” and Risk, it seems, has it’s own “Ghettopoly” in the shape of this board game.
I won’t be buying the game, but I would be interested in seeing what happens to the game in a year or so’s time. Will it fall under, like it’s Ghettopoly counterpart? Will it actually help debate on the issue? And is all the media fuss over this board game out of context?
Only time will tell.
War on Terror – The board game (Board Game Geek)