Saturday, December 24
Risk is Passé, Try Wreck the Nation Instead
Xmas Games for a Gitmo World
By DAVE LINDORFF, Counterpunch, Dec 24/25th 2005
Looking for a last minute gift idea for someone who is hard to shop for?
How about a chance to wreck the nation?
That's the idea behind a wacky political board game dreamed up by two California women who watched as Bush and the Republican Congress ran the country into a fiscal hole and started several interminable wars financed on credit and decided to do something about it.
Thinking that what they were watching happen was akin to Monopoly in reverse, they developed their game, where the winner is the one who can destroy the county by a combination of wars, tax cuts for the rich and outrageous budgets for military production, pork-barrel projects and corruption.
Players pick a token representing a politician beholden to one of four special interests, like defense contractor or the oil industry, and move around the board to a pair of thrown dice, plundering the public treasury along the way and trying to spend their $1-trillion share of the national budget.
"The way it works is you pick up fact-based cards along the way-all based upon things that Bush and Congress have really done," says Jennifer McGlynn, one of the co-creaters of Wreck the Nation (they also had consulting help from McGlynn's 12-year-old son). "Although an article in the Chicago Tribune called Wreck the Nation one of the 20 coolest board games, we haven't made it into Toys `R' Us," says McGlynn, "and I suspect we never will. The game is just too anti-Bush."
It's also probably too educational. As an added bonus, when players pick up one of the game's revenue cards, homeland security cards or expenditure cards, they can go to a website and punch in the numbers on that card to find out the true facts behind what the card tells them to do.
A typical card is this one from the Homeland Security deck, which reads, "Supreme Court rules you cannot designate terror suspects `enemy combatants,' declare them outside the US legal system, and imprison them forever at Guantanamo Bay." Go to the website (www.wreckthenation.com) and enter the code. This takes the player to a web page that says:
After the tragic events of 9/11, 660 men from 42 different countries were rounded up as suspected members of Al Qaeda & other terrorist networks and sent to a makeshift prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
As "enemy combatants" ... [more]