Saturday, October 29, 2005

Class Struggle

Class Struggle - this little gem is touted as the "World's First Marxist Board Game" having been designed by NYU professor Bertell Ollman. The object of the game is defined as follows:
"Class Struggle" reflects the real struggle between the classes in our society. THE OBJECT OF THE GAME IS TO WIN THE REVOLUTION . . . ULTIMATELY. Until then, classes—represented by different players—advance around the board, making and breaking alliances, and picking up strengths and weaknesses that determine the outcome of the elections and general strikes which occur along the way.
I ran across this some time ago and was recently reminded of it and, of course, had to blog on it. What a great concept - a Marxist board game! Games are a huge part of the media-scape these days and are fundamental to teaching children about the world we live in and how they should behave in it. The Christian right is well aware of this and we see some top selling games on the market which are themed around Christian concepts, like the "Left Behind" series.

It seems very clear to me that we need more work along the lines of Class Struggle. Bertell Ollman combines solid theory with fun playability and humor to create an inspired final product. Below is an excerpt from Ollman's book "Ballbuster," which chronicles the business venture to sell the game:
In Boston, the Real Paper arranged a celebrity match of Class Struggle between three media personalities, the GOP candidate for governor of Massachusetts, the Democratic secretary of state for education, and Mortimer Zuckerman, one of Boston's leading capitalists, who has since become publisher of Atlantic magazine. Played in the office of David Rockefeller, Jr. publisher of the Real Paper, the game took on eerie overtones when Zuckerman, who played the Capitalists, tried his best to blow up the world just as he was about to lose. "Of course, capitalists would rather be dead than give up their wealth," Zuckerman said with the air of someone who knew what he was talking about.

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