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Board game based on John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ looks AMAZING
05.08.2017
09:11 am
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T-shirt design company Mondo has announced a product it will be releasing for Halloween, and it’s a reeeeeal good one: a board game version of John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing, in which Kurt Russell does battle with a shape-shifting alien lifeform that is causing havoc at an Antarctic research station.

The full name of the game is The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31. The game is a collaboration between Mondo and USAopoly’s games division Project Raygun. In a cute touch, the Mondo “exclusive version” will be limited to 1,982 copies in honor of the year the movie was released.
 

 
Players can choose one of a dozen characters from the movie, and there is surely a social detection component to the game, in which players must “gather gear, battle The Thing, expose any imitations ..., and escape Outpost 31.”

This is actually not the first board game based on The Thing. In 2011 Mark Chaplin released a self-published game that also used the movie’s plot as an inspiration for gameplay.
 

 
Only thing I don’t get is, what part of the game do you say, “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding”?
 

 
via Nerdcore
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’: Storyboard vs. finished film

Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.08.2017
09:11 am
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‘Secret Hitler’: Board game of the year (from the same people who sold you a box of Bullshit)
03.27.2017
02:32 pm
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A few years ago, I was living in New York City but had struck up some friendships in Cleveland, where I would eventually relocate. I had heard about this funny game Cards Against Humanity and it had struck my fancy, so I plunked down 25 bucks in some virtual kiosk and got myself a set. At a New Year’s Party in Cleveland a few months later, I unveiled it to the assembled revelers, and it rapidly became the dominant activity of the party. A few months later, and it was hard to find a party where it did not get mentioned as a possible activity.

Cards Against Humanity, the self-styled “party game for horrible people,” was the brainchild of multiple people, one of the most prominent of whom was Max Temkin, who has now teamed up with video game producers Mike Boxleiter and Tommy Maranges to find out if they could create a “social deduction” board game with the addictiveness of CAH.

My money says that they have.

The subject of an attention-getting Kickstarter that amassed nearly $1.5 million, Secret Hitler became available to consumers around the time of Donald Trump’s inauguration, which certainly speaks to impeccable timing on the part of Goat, Wolf, and Cabbage LLC, the company that is distributing the game. The game made a minor splash in late February when they shipped a free copy to all 100 U.S. Senators, thereby making explicit whatever metaphorical connections to the daily headlines may have been buzzing around your brain. 

As with Cards Against Humanity, the people behind Secret Hitler have taken a staunchly populist and what might be termed anti-corporate approach—and the two games are united by a similar sense of cheeky humor. In both cases users have been encouraged to print up their own sets of the game for free, if they so choose. Here’s the GitHub online implementation of the game. To celebrate Black Friday in 2014, the CAH people invited people to send them six bucks in exchange for “Bullshit,” which is exactly what they ended up receiving.
 

 
In the game, it’s Germany 1932, and the Liberals are pitted against the Fascists (one of whom is Hitler). The Fascists know which players are Fascists (and by extension, which players are Liberals), but the Liberals don’t know what side any of the other players is on. Gameplay varies according to the number of players (5-10), but in most versions Hitler does not know who his (or her) supporters are.

Every game begins with a clever ritual in which all players close their eyes, and then, on a given cue, Fascists open their eyes and ID one another. The game comes with an app in which a recorded message by Wil Wheaton guides you through the process.

The game proceeds by repeatedly naming a President who must select a Chancellor, the two of whom then must collaborate to place Liberal or Fascist policies on the board. Both sides have two paths to victory: if the Liberals place 5 policies on the board, they win, and the same is true of the Fascists, except they need 6 policies. The Liberals can win by assassinating Hitler, and the Fascists can win if they manage to get Hitler elected Chancellor after sufficient information about the players’ identities has been distributed (that is, after three Fascist policies have made it onto the board).

Basically, at every point in the game, all players will be claiming to be Liberals; the trick is to track game moves to figure out who is actively pushing Fascist policies and who has been forced by circumstance to promote them against their will.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.27.2017
02:32 pm
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‘Labyrinth’ becomes a board game, complete with ‘Goblin King Jareth’ figure!
05.31.2016
01:49 pm
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I recently checked up on the progress on the excellent looking board game adaptation of the 1986 film by Jim Henson, Labyrinth by game maker, River Horse and boy, am I glad I did as it appears that the game is nearly finished. Squeee!

Today is the last day to pre-order the game which is set for release this summer in the US, UK and EU. Game play has two stages—one has players traveling through the labyrinth in search of the Goblin King while trying to not fall into “oubliette” (you know, the place where you put people to “forget” about them?), and the second stage pits players against David Bowie’s character in the film, Jareth the Goblin King, in an effort to set Sara’s baby brother free from his clutches.

In addition to the highly detailed game board and a replica of the clock Jareth uses to count down the thirteen hours he gives Sarah to solve the puzzle of the labyrinth, there are also five game-play figures modeled after key characters in the film, loveable Ludo; the dwarf Hoggle; the worst babysitter ever, Sarah (played by actress Jennifer Connelly), Sir Didymus and his four-legged pal Ambrosius; and of course, Jareth the Goblin King, as played by David Bowie. It appears that the game will retail for about $50 and as I mentioned earlier, can be pre-ordered through the end of today, here. Images of the soon-to-be greatest board game ever, follow.
 

Game board and the sculpted figures from the upcoming board game, Labyrinth.
 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.31.2016
01:49 pm
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‘Oh my aching oyster slot!’: Play ‘Heavenly Hamhouse’ the kinky role-playing board game
03.23.2016
11:21 am
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The cover of the 1994 board game
The cover of the 1994 board game “Heavenly Hamhouse: The Safe-Sex Virtual-Reality Role-Playing Game.” Illustrations and concept by Lloyd Dangle.
 
If the illustrations for this 1994 board game designed by Lloyd Dangle called “Heavenly Hamhouse” (a game of “safe-sex, virtual-reality and role-playing) look familiar to you, it’s probably because you see the same artist’s work on the packaging for the popular “nutritional suppliment” Airborne. Dangle, who once worked as a cartoonist for the Michigan Voice under the publications’ editor, the-soon-to-be-famous filmmaker Michael Moore, also penned the staunchly liberal-minded syndicated comic Troubletown which ran for twenty-two years in various publications across the country. But my recent discovery that Dangle was the creator and designer of this “anything goes”-style board game where players get to perform acts of fetish and kink upon each other—“guaranteed to annoy the hell out of Christians!”—was a new one on me.
 
Heavenly Hamhouse silk-screened game board and
Heavenly Hamhouse silk-screened game board and “action-fetish spinner.”
 
The rules of game play for
The rules of game play for “Heavenly Hamhouse” and game pieces/markers.
 
The bottom of the
The bottom of the “Heavenly Hamhouse” game box.
 
A pervy insert for the board game
A naughty insert for the board game “Heavenly Hamhouse.”
 
Less than 100 of the bawdy “Heavenly Hamhouse” games were ever produced and apparently the game board itself was silk-screened, making it a very cool collectible. According to the “rules” players spin the “action-fetish spinner” and “bounce from one steamy situation to the next.” Such as landing on a game square that tells you to start “grabbing your privates (noted as “xxxx” on the game board) the “European way,” or “obediently satisfying each player’s seediest “xxxx” fantasy.” Because playing a board game that has the potential to lead to a full-on orgy with some of your closest pals, really is the very definition of a great Saturday night.

It should also be noted that according to the game rules, prior to game play the room must be cleared of children, bible-thumpers and anyone from Florida. After a quick search on the Internet, I did find one copy of the game out there for sale for cheap if you need to get your hands on one so you can finally get your hands all over your best friend’s wife without getting in trouble. It’s just a game after all.
 
H/T: Board Game Geek

Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.23.2016
11:21 am
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Pretend to be a drug dealer from Mexico with ‘Beat the Border,’ an actual 70s board game!
03.03.2016
10:23 am
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Beat the Border board game, 1971
“Beat the Border” board game, 1971
 
I’ve written about vintage board games in the past here in DM, but here’s one that I’m pretty sure didn’t sell very well back in the early 1970s, and for good reason. I mean, can you imagine sitting down on game night with your kids and playing a game that was based on the Mexican drug cartel and their mission to bring drugs into the US of A?

Now? Sure. Back then, not very likely. Still that didn’t stop a company called Border House Inc. (for which I can find absolutely no reputable online reference for) from making Beat the Border.
 

The handy “kilo” buying and selling chart from ‘Beat the Border’
 

 
The cover of the
The box cover of the ‘Beat the Border’ board game (1972 edition). Text reads: Warning: “Your friendly local neighborhood Pusher warns that Marijuana Smoking is against the Law and may be Hazardous to your Freedom.”
 
Unlike the actual task of bringing drugs to the U.S., game play in Beat the Border is pretty simple—players start with $1000 and attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. to buy “kilos” of marijuana from their contacts named “Edwardo,” “Renaldo,” “Papas”, “Pepe” and “Jose.” Players then try to broker a sale in major cities like Tucson and New York, and for some reason Muskogee, Oklahoma.

To help your cause, players have access to “dope lawyers,” “phoney identification” (as it is spelled in the game), and “guns,” (affectionately referred to as “heaters” here). There’s even a handy chart telling you how much the going price for a “kilo” of grass was back in 1971. For instance, according to the handy “kilo buying and selling chart” (pictured above), a kilo of pot was worth $350 in 1971. Quite the bargain compared to today’s prices!. Much like its elusive creator Border House Inc., I wasn’t able to track down a physical copy of “Beat the Border” anywhere, just in case you were thinking about picking one up for your upcoming Election Day “apocalypse party” this November.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Let’s play Revolution: Gorgeous but violent Soviet board games, 1920-1938

Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.03.2016
10:23 am
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You have a social disease, lose one turn: ‘Sexual Trivia’, a cheeky board game from 1984
08.18.2015
10:20 am
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Sexual Trivia Strikes Again (1984)
Sexual Trivia board game (1984)

There were many different versions of Sexual Trivia put out after the first one debuted in 1984 from Baron/Scott Enterprises - the same perverted geniuses behind the Dirty Words dice game from 1977.

A sort of deviant play on Monopoly, the first player to collect 100 orgasm dollars, wins. Because, of course they do. On the pamphlet that lists the rules for gameplay, it is recommended that Sexual Trivia NOT be played while riding public transportation. And as you might imagine, there is a pretty good reason why. I wasn’t kidding around when I said this is a board game for folks with a deviant streak. Best enjoyed by those who have no problem admitting they know that the average age of a prostitute in Europe is actually 25 (an actual question straight from the game) and not 19. HA!
 
Sexual Trivia Strikes Again game play image
Image from Sexual Trivia Strikes Again (the second edition, 1984)

Sexual Trivia game board
Game board from Sexual Trivia (1993)

More carnal hijinks after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.18.2015
10:20 am
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‘Sexism,’ a disturbingly accurate board game from 1971
07.31.2015
11:02 am
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Sexism board game - 1971
Sexism. A board game from 1971
 
Sexism was a board game, conceived back in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?

According to the folks over at Board Game Geek, the goal of Sexism is to move from the “doll house,” to the White House (flash-forward 44 years and we’re still waiting, but I digress). The first player to move into the White House, wins. Sexism is compelling on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. Just take this game board square from Sexism called “Abortionist.” The square itself depicts a pregnant woman and a clothing hanger(!) with the following game instructions if you land on it:
 

 

The bill didn’t pass.

Go to the Maternity Ward

Laundry Service and Part-time You Know What!

 
Sexism encourages players to play as their opposite gender as it is known to produce “hilarious role-playing situations.” So, if you win as a “woman” the game will instruct the other players that, “You are now a person, and must be treated as such for 24 hours. Non-winners may be treated as usual.” If you play as a “man,” you are greeted by a cartoon of a large thumb pushing a woman down with the following message: “Congratulations, you’ve won — or have you?” Wow.
 
White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism
Decisions, decisions. White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism

When it comes to the cards that you might draw while playing Sexism,  playing as a woman you might draw a card that says “Go back two steps because you’re a woman. You’d just as well get used to this.” Whereas a man might draw a card that makes this incredible statement:

I staunchly defend motherhood, God and country. I’m against giving more money to ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) for each child. I’m against abortions. I’m against women earning as much as men. I’m against paying taxes for free child care centers. Go ahead three steps.

In an interview with Houger from 1972, she said that her intention wasn’t to create an “anti-male” game. In addition to enlightening folks to Women’s Lib, Houger had high hopes that the game would start a dialog about sexism, as well as help people understand that both men and women should be treated as “people.” Houger also said she wanted to highlight the fact that women can also be sexist, by “reinforcing sexism” with their actions or attitudes, especially when it comes to assigning gender-specific roles - a point that she makes rather directly on many of Sexism’s game squares.

More on Sexism after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.31.2015
11:02 am
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Let’s play Revolution: Gorgeous but violent Soviet board games, 1920-1938
11.11.2014
02:50 pm
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“Chemical War,” 1925
 
The phrase “war toys” usually evokes images of little plastic guns, gritty action figures with kung-fu grips and more recently the first-person shooter video game. In Soviet Russia however, bloodthirsty board games were incredibly popular. I’d imagine this was partially due to a national penchant for games of strategy (like chess), but also probably owing (at least somewhat, if not to a great extent) to manufacturing considerations. Russia was still attempting a massive industrialization project throughout the 1930s, and board games were pretty quick and easy to produce without much in the way of materials or tools.

Obviously not every Russian board game had the hawkish tenor of most of the games below (“Electrification”), but there’s certainly enough of them to see palpable themes of nationalism and war. You’ll notice the game “Battle” looks pretty wholesome at first glance… until you realize that the players are engaging in a leisurely game on a battlefield, seemingly unaware of the carnage taking place directly behind them. Despite the intriguing cover art, I can’t find much on the rules or premises of these games, except they they were educational tools and often contained a military trivia component. Still, as far as insidiously nationalist, war-mongering propaganda goes, don’t they look kind of… fun?
 

“Revolution,” 1925
 

“Air War,” 1925
 

“Battle,” 1938
 
More Soviet games after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Amber Frost
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11.11.2014
02:50 pm
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‘Juden Raus’: Nazi-era anti-Semitic board game where you deport the Jews
03.21.2014
02:09 pm
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Juden Raus!
 
Who would have guessed that the Holocaust wouldn’t make for a perfectly peachy board game for the little German children of the Third Reich? As it turns out, getting rid of all the Jews just isn’t that much fun. (Of course, given sound game design principles, just about anything can be made fun, but foregrounding one’s own small-minded intolerance and hatred and desire to exile a minority group is probably not the first step in that creative process.)

In 1935 the Nuremberg Laws were passed in Germany—these laws codified the desire of the Nazis, at a minimum, to segregate Jews from all areas of public life. In effect the laws—which communicated the idea, “You’re not wanted here!”—were a powerful argument for accelerated out-migration. Those Jews who could afford it and who also avoided the tragic tendency to rationalize away the hatred directed towards them, got the point, and left if they hadn’t already done so. As the years ticked by, the urgency of getting some kind of exit visa would only increase.

A year after the Nuremberg Laws, a company called Günther & Co. released a Parcheesi-style board game; its title was one of the ugliest phrases in human history—Juden Raus! The title is best translated as, “Jews, Get Out” or possibly “Get Rid of the Jews” depending on your conception of agency, and is the most succinct possible expression of the official German attitude towards Jews under the Third Reich. (The word “official” is important here. Anti-Semitism was certainly popular enough to become a key pillar of the ideology of the state, but just as Tea Partiers don’t like Obamacare, not all Germans were equally afflicted by the disease.)
 
Juden Raus!
“Juden Raus! Das Neue Gesellschafts-Spiel” (“Out with the Jews! The Game of the New Society”)
 
In the game, young Germans across the Reich were encouraged, in what practically seems a parodic Firesign Theatre-style intervention, to move the six “Jew” game pieces around the board in such a way as to secure them on spots outside the metaphorical “wall” of the German state such that they would be transported “Auf nach Palästina!” (Off to Palestine!). Each game piece came with a conical “dunce”-style cap with a grotesque Jewish caricature on it. On the board itself were two little pieces of doggerel that helped explain the goal of the game: Zeige geschick im Würfelspiel, damit du sammelst der Juden viel! (“Show skill in this dice game, so that you gather up all the Jews!”) and Gelingt es Dir 6 Juden rauszujagen, so bist Du Sieger ohne zu fragen! (“If you succeed in chasing six Jews out, you’re the winner, without a doubt!”) At a guess, the inherently cooperative nature of something like the Holocaust interferes with the competitive imperatives of a good board game. In other words, how did the game work, exactly? If I exile three Jews and you exile just two, then I win? It doesn’t quite make sense.
 
Juden Raus!
“Off to Palestine with you, little Jew!”
 
Surprisingly, the best evidence we have suggests that the Nazis themselves didn’t like the game. Why? Because it had the effect of trivializing such the, er, “noble” task of purifying Germany. In one of the most remarkable bits of prose I have ever read, the Nazi newspaper Das Schwarze Korps in December 1938 published a brief review in which they sharply criticized the game.
 

This invention ... is almost a punishable idea, perfectly suitable as grist to the mills of hate of the international Jewish journaille, who would show around such a piece of mischief as a proof for the childish efforts of the nazistic Jew-haters with a diabolic smirk, if it would appear before her crooked nose.

-snip-

Jews out! yes of course, but also rapidly out of the toy-boxes of our children, before they are led into the dreadful error that political problems are solved with the dice cup.


 
In a recent academic paper about the game, which they aptly label “History’s most infamous board game,” Andrew Morris-Friedman and Ulrich Schädler get in the final word:
 

What insights are achieved from “Juden Raus!” about Nazi culture? It is hard to imagine a family sitting at a table playing a game that taught racial hatred. Yet it seems there were people like Rudolf Fabricius who imagined that some families would do just that. Fabricius was one of those mere supporters who thought to make some profit by following in the wake of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. Today most people react with disbelief or disgust when informed of the game’s existence. “Juden Raus!” shows that after decades of propaganda, anti-Semitism was so deeply rooted in German society in the 1930s, that someone thought it would be a good subject for a children’s game. Racism is present in many board games, but “Juden Raus!” is unique in its portrayal of how racism manifests itself in society and is a terrifying example of the banality of evil.

 
In my research for this post, I stumbled across a more contemporary attempt to depict the full horror of the Holocaust in the form of a board game. Brenda Brathwaite’s 2009 game Train turned the task of loading little yellow people onto trains for some undisclosed final destination, with the reveal, late in the game, that the destination is actually Auschwitz, although the game’s suitably grim visual design gives the punchline away well before that point is attained.
 
Train
 
Here’s a 2009 video from The Wall Street Journal about Brathwaite’s game Train:
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Alfred Hitchcock’s unseen Holocaust documentary to be restored
Witty, macabre playing cards comment on the fresh horrors of the Nazi concentration camps

Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.21.2014
02:09 pm
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