Family Unfriendly Board Games: Part 4 – Nuclear War to Chinatown

Alfredo_Pangea___Famine_the_irish

Note: The opening images in this series aren’t of real games by the way. They’re just photoshopped pictures I’ve obtained through various websites. But they kind of emphasize that these games I’m featuring aren’t meant for families for various reasons.

You notice that a lot of the board games I feature in this series don’t actually feature a board. That’s because board games in this series usually refers to “not video” in the broadest sense. Now it’s not uncommon for a popular movie, book, TV show, or franchise to have their very own tie-in board game. A lot of these aren’t really good but I couldn’t include many of them since their family unfriendliness tends to pale in comparison to a lot of the games I have and will feature in this series. Of course, I had to include the two board games from The Hunger Games since they tend to glamorize on elements that the original trilogy condemns such as forcing kids to compete in a fight to the death on national television before degrading them further. But guess what the movies and the board games capitalize on? You guessed it, the violence, which is kind of a shame. Still, enough with my talking right now. So for your reading and family unfriendly pleasure, here is another installment of my series on family unfriendly board games.

31. Nuclear War

Be a major world power in an arms race to achieve world domination through mass annihilation. With Nuclear War, WMDs and genocide have never been more fun in the Cold War Era.

Be a major world power in an arms race to achieve world domination through mass annihilation. With Nuclear War, WMDs and genocide have never been more fun in the Cold War Era.

Category: Card, Political, Modern Warfare, Negotiation

Players: 2-6

Contents: Deck of cards

Object: Each player represents a major world power and attempts to gain global domination (or annihilation) through the strategic use of propaganda or nuclear weapons.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, it was released in 1965 which is 3 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War.

Why it’s not: Seriously, this game makes light of the ideas of nuclear annihilation which isn’t supposed to be fun. In fact, it’s quite scary even in the 21st century.

Available?: Let’s hope it’s not still in print. But it did go through a few editions.

32. The Game of Happiness

Hard to imagine what kind of person could come up with an idea to design a stupid game like this. Oh, I know: acid. But whether it's brown acid, PCP, LSD, mushrooms, or peyote will never be known. Still, it had to be designed by someone who was definitely high.

Hard to imagine what kind of person could come up with an idea to design a stupid game like this. Oh, I know: acid. But whether it’s brown acid, PCP, LSD, mushrooms, or peyote will never be known. Still, it had to be designed by someone who was definitely high in the 1970s, no doubt about it.

Category: Roll/Spin, Set Collection

Players: 2-6

Contents: game board, spinners, 6 player tokens, 6 ladders of success, decks of cards, fake money, plastic stuff, square ladder tiles

Object: Players collect the keys of happiness and use them to build a ladder to climb to the rainbow of happiness. The keys are: Faith, Love, Money, Knowledge, Friendship, and Health. Each path is not easy to achieve.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, Milton Bradley did have Mansion of Happiness and the Game of Life so perhaps Happiness was just another idea to cash on that in the 1970s.

Why it’s not: Well, who was what these developers were on when they made this came. It’s just so bizarre and crazy. One person called it “a long, almost entirely random game which causes the total opposite of what the title would suggest.” Still, if there was a board game designed by hippies on powerful hallucinogenic drugs, then this would be it.

Available?: Probably out of print, thank God.

33. Swack!

In this game, players pretend to be a mouse trying to take the cheese before the trap swacks down and almost snaps their fingers. Yeah, I'm sure the developers didn't think that one through. Also, cheese is horrible bait for a mouse trap, But a good one for a rat trap.

In this game, players pretend to be a mouse trying to take the cheese before the trap swacks down and almost snaps their fingers. Yeah, I’m sure the developers didn’t think that one through. Also, cheese is horrible bait for a mouse trap, But a good one for a rat trap.

Category: Food/Cooking, Pick-Up and Deliver

Players: 2-4

Contents: large mousetrap, cheese pieces, cheese box, scoring track

Object: Players try to remove as much cheese from the pan as possible before the mouse trap goes swack. Player can take up to 3 pieces from the pan on any given turn. Large pieces earn 3 points while small pieces earn 1 point. If the trap springs, the unlucky player loses 10 points. Players take turns removing cheese until the trap springs, then all of it is replaced and the trap is reset. Game ends when the player reaches the end of the scoring track.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I don’t know. Guess it was inspired by the notion that kids have so many fingers that they could lose a few as long as they weren’t thumbs. Released in 1968.

Why it’s not: Let’s just say the obvious safety hazards involved. I mean this game isn’t friendly on the fingers.

Available?: No.

34. The Suicide Bomber Card Game

Jesus Christ, I don't know what disturbs me about this game's existence. Is it because it was created in 2003 around the time of 9/11, the horrible Iraq War, and the War on Terror? Or is it because it pertains to blowing up as much buildings or killing as many bystanders as possible? I can't say which.

Jesus Christ, I don’t know what disturbs me about this game’s existence. Is it because it was created in 2003 around the time of 9/11, the horrible Iraq War, and the War on Terror? Or is it because it pertains to blowing up as much buildings or killing as many bystanders as possible? I can’t say which.

Category: Card, Humor

Players: 2

Contents: Deck of cards, tokens

Object: Players compete to bomb as many of each other’s bystanders and civilians as possible.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Since it was created in 2003, I think it was mainly to cash in on 9/11, the War on Terror, and the Iraq War.

Why it’s not: For one, it’s a game making light of terrorism and horrific violence, particularly in the Middle East. Second, this concept is so offensive that the company had to leave a disclaimer in their product description. Anything else I need to explain?

Available?: Well, they sell it on Amazon.

35. Lie, Cheat, & Steal: The Game of Political Power

Now while this game does bring a more accurate picture of how the political process works, especially nowadays. But would you really want to play a game with your family that could ruin your child's innocence and perception of humanity? Now you might want to answer that yourself.

Now while this game does bring a more accurate picture of how the political process works, especially nowadays. But would you really want to play a game with your family that could ruin your child’s innocence and perception of humanity? Now you might want to answer that yourself.

Category: Negotiation, Political, Simulation

Players: 2-6

Contents: game board, 2 dice, fake money, vote cards, 6 pawns, 16 black eye cards, 16 feather-in-your-cap cards, 24 money cards

Object: Players strive to be elected to political office. Players start with $50,000 and collect $20,000 every time they pass start. Unlike games based on how elections are supposed to be run, this one uses true methods like vote buying, libel, and under the table deals to advance to office. Players can also drop out of politics for awhile and enter private business or local politics in order to build up reputations. Can also find themselves subpoenaed to appear on the federal witness stand as a result of a Senate investigation. First player with 500 votes wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This was probably a satire of the political process which was published in 1971.

Why it’s not: Though recommended for ages 12 and up, I’m not sure a game teaching about dirty methods to get ahead is appropriate for a family game night. Sure it might be a more accurate game about the political process but let’s face it, you don’t want to ruin a child’s innocence that soon.

Available?: Probably not.

36. Uranium Rush

Stake your claim in the desert for uranium in Uranium Rush. And this is one of many atomic toys in the 1950s, when atomic power was all the rage. Not to mention, it was when the US was making nukes just in case the Russians were building theirs. Oh, and they made great toys even though they may never be used.

Stake your claim in the desert for uranium in Uranium Rush. And this is one of many atomic toys in the 1950s, when atomic power was all the rage. Not to mention, it was when the US was making nukes just in case the Russians were building theirs. Oh, and they made great toys even though they may never be used.

Category: Auction/Bidding, Mining, Economic, Educational, Electronic

Players: 2-4

Contents: game board, spinners, fake money, fake Geiger counter, wooden pegs, cards

Object: Players start with $15,000 and prospect for uranium in an area determined by the spinner on the board. Claims can be purchased for $1000 or auctioned off to be tested for uranium. Involves an electric “Geiger counter” producing a buzzing sound if uranium is discovered, which is sold to the federal government for $50,000. Players take turns until all the claims are staked. Player with the most money in the end wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This game was released in the 1950s when atomic energy was all the rage.

Why it’s not: Well, let’s just say that while nuclear power is seen as a viable energy source in some areas, it’s not necessarily a nice one. Also, uranium exposure won’t do you any favors and I’m sure the uranium isn’t just used for the power plants.

Available?: It’s no longer in print.

37. War on Terror: The Board Game

Liberate the world and eliminate terrorism forever as a major empire in this War on Terror board game. Of course, this may mean  dominating oil fields and recruiting terrorists, however.

Liberate the world and eliminate terrorism forever as a major empire in this War on Terror board game. Of course, this may mean dominating oil fields and recruiting terrorists, however.

Category: Negotiation, War

Players: 3-6

Contents: game board, “Evil” Balaclava, Axis of Evil Spinner, Rules of Engagement, Card Appendix, 65 empire cards, 47 terrorist cards, 6 reference cards, 60 oil counters, 16 radiation counters, 300 empire counters, 100 terrorist counters, 2 oil dice, 1 action die, Secret Message Pad, lots of fake money

Object: The goal is to liberate the world, ridding it of fear and terrorism forever. So naturally the biggest empires are only up to the task and needs to prove a certain amount of dominance. Players start as an empire with a couple of villages and can settle anywhere in the world. Though peaceful, the politics start to form depending on what is discovered and how aggressive the initial settlement choice is. Players then spread over the planet grabbing available land with the best oil and most strategic boarders. Some may go for towns and cities, others on extra empire cards to build up their political options. But soon war will be declared and the terrorist will strike. Though possible to win with the players as empires, they’re more likely to be destroyed, bankrupted, or cave in and become terrorist players.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This was released in 2006 as a satire for the Middle East situation such as the War on Terror and the Iraq War.

Why it’s not: Let’s just say that this game has a troubled history, unsurprisingly. Its first release was met with a lot of criticism with businesses refusing to associate with it and being banned from a number of industry fairs around the world. The British police even confiscated it at one point. Still, tide has recently turned however. Nevertheless, while I can’t complain on accuracy about the geopolitics, I’m not sure if making light of terrorism is a good idea.

Available?: Yes, and has its own website. Also, is an online app.

38. Oy Vey!

In this game, players are Jewish mothers trying to get their kids to either become doctors or marry one. Oh, and it's loaded with Jewish stereotypes. Seriously, there are plenty of Jewish moms whose children had nothing to do with the medical field and they've turned out just fine. Just ask Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas, Mel Brooks, Henry Kissinger, and more.

In this game, players are Jewish mothers trying to get their kids to either become doctors or marry one. Oh, and it’s loaded with Jewish stereotypes. Seriously, there are plenty of Jewish moms whose children had nothing to do with the medical field and they’ve turned out just fine. Just ask Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas, Mel Brooks, Henry Kissinger, and more.

Category: Roleplaying

Players: 2-4

Contents: game board, naches cards for good luck, tsouris cards for bad luck, 2 dice, color coded discs and pawns

Object: Game in which each player is a Jewish mother who has to get two sons to become doctors and two daughters to marry M.Ds.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I don’t know, trying to appeal to a Jewish demographic? May have been created by Jews themselves.

Why it’s not: For one, it perpetuates Jewish stereotypes. Second, it’s pretty sexist despite being released in the 1970s. Seriously, there are plenty of Jews out there who aren’t doctors, many of whom are Nobel Prize winners and Hollywood celebrities. Not to mention, how I’d see it play among non-Jewish audiences.

Available?: Hopefully not.

39. Puerto Rico

Relive the joys of colonialism with this Puerto Rico board game. Warning: Might contain slaves which worked mostly on the plantations in Caribbean and the American colonies in this period.

Relive the joys of colonialism with this Puerto Rico board game. Warning: Might contain slaves which worked mostly on the plantations in Caribbean and the American colonies in this period.

Category: City Building, Economic, Farming

Players: 2-5

Contents: 5 individual player boards, 1 governor card, 8 role cards (Settler, Mayor, Builder, Craftsman, Trader, Captain, 2 Prospectors), 1 game board, 49 building tiles (5 Large Violet, 24 Small Violet, 20 Non-Violet Production), 54 doubloons (46 x “1”, 8 x “5”), 58 island tiles (8 Quarry Tiles, 50 Plantation Tiles), 1 colonist ship, 100 colonists, 1 trading house, 50 goods (9 Coffee, 9 Tobacco, 10 Corn, 11 Sugar, 11 Indigo), 5 cargo ships, 50 victory point chips (32 x “1”, 18 x “5”)

Object: Players assume the roles of colonial governors of Puerto Rico. The aim is to amass victory points by shipping goods to Europe or by constructing buildings. Each player uses a separate small board with spaces for city buildings, plantations, and resources. Players share a three ships, a trading house, and a supply of resources and doubloons. Players earn victory points for owning buildings, for shipping goods, and for manned “large buildings.” During each round, each player selects a “role” card from the table in which every player gets to take the action to that role.

Why they thought it was a good idea: The developers probably wanted to show kids about the economics and thrill of Colonialism.

Why it’s not: Caused some controversy when it was first released in 2004 due to its less-than-subtle use of slaves (with dark colored chits, even) as a game resource. Civil Rights groups angrily protested game stores and Public Enemy even wrote a protest rap for it. Also, let’s just say Colonialism isn’t a fun time in history for Africans and indigenous people either.

Available?: Yes, it’s still in print and there’s even an online version, too.

40. Chinatown

In Chinatown, players can be their own Chinese immigrant entrepreneur in 1960s New York. Of course, this game's released sparked a huge outcry among Chinese Americans for its rampant use of racial stereotypes.

In Chinatown, players can be their own Chinese immigrant entrepreneur in 1960s New York. Of course, this game’s released sparked a huge outcry among Chinese Americans for its rampant use of racial stereotypes.

Category: Strategy, City Building, Economic, Negotiation

Players: 3-5

Contents: game board, 1 linen bag, 1 year marker, 5 player aid cards, 85 building cards, 80 money cards, 90 shop tiles, 1 first player card, 150 ownership markets

Object: Players portray Chinese immigrants in New York during the 1960s. Players acquire ownership of city block sections then place tiles, representing businesses, onto the block-sections. At the end of each term, each tile a player has laid gives them some sort of payout, but completed businesses (formed of three to six connected tiles of the same type) pay better. But all resources are dealt to the players randomly, however.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Possibly the developers wanted to appeal to an Asian audience of some sort. Then again, martial arts movies.

Why it’s not: At its 1999 release, it provoked a great deal of indignation among Chinese Americans who were upset at the game’s rampant use of racial stereotypes. One organization even complained on 60 Minutes saying, “There is more to Chinese-American entrepreneurial spirit than dry cleaners and fish markets. And the Chinese guy on the box is straight out of central casting. No one dresses like that anymore.”

Available?: I’m sure it’s still in print as of today.

Advertisements

Family Unfriendly Board Games: Part 3 – Lunch Money to Up Against the Wall Motherfucker!

687474703a2f2f696d673638372e696d616765736861636b2e75732f696d673638372f313131332f61343930653161303439373830363164666331656336332e706e67

Note: The opening images in this series aren’t of real games by the way. They’re just photoshopped pictures I’ve obtained through various websites. But they kind of emphasize that these games I’m featuring aren’t meant for families for various reasons.

Now I know that at least a few of these games are meant for adults and weren’t made for families to begin with. But I’m sure there are plenty that have adult children. Of course, some of these games may involve sex and violence as well as degradation. Nevertheless, there are some games in this series I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, even adults. Then there are games I would certainly be fine with adults playing, particularly if they’re board game geeks. But many contain a lot of violence and disturbing content which must be proceeded with caution. Some may even involve people bringing out the worst in each other like backstabbing and the like. Thus, not recommended for families for any reason, even if the kids are adults. So for your reading pleasure here is my third installment of family unfriendly board games.

21. Lunch Money

The title might sound innocent enough. But it's really a game that involve some elementary school bullies at the playground stealing hapless kids' lunch money through any means necessary, even sadistic violence. Yeah, kind of like a version of Fight Club with kids battling it out for money.

The title might sound innocent enough. But it’s really a game that involve some elementary school bullies at the playground stealing hapless kids’ lunch money through any means necessary, even sadistic violence. Yeah, kind of like a version of Fight Club with kids battling it out for money.

Category: Fighting, Card, Roleplaying

Players:2-4

Contents: Deck of cards and tokens

Object: Basically this pertains to children running around on the playground beating up each other and stealing their lunch money. Moves range from punches, kicks, knives, and humiliation. Last player standing wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Not sure why. Seriously, I have no idea. But it’s for teens and up.

Why it’s not: Basically the object pertains to dominating your opponent through violence and bullying for personal gain. It’s like card version of Fight Club that involves stealing money.

Available?: Yes, and there are some expansions sets of Sticks and Stones as well as Beer Money.

22. Pain Doctors: The Game of Recreational Surgery

I guess this game was created by a guy who asked, "Now what can I do to get more psychopaths and sadists into considering medical school?" Let's just say that a game pertaining to recreational surgery is going to be real graphic and horrifying.

I guess this game was created by a guy who asked, “Now what can I do to get more psychopaths and sadists into considering medical school?” Let’s just say that a game pertaining to recreational surgery is going to be real graphic and horrifying.

Category: Card, Horror, Medical

Players: 2-6

Contents: Deck of cards, surgical charts, tokens

Object: A game of recreational surgery. Players get one of their patients healthy enough to withstand whatever surgery they want to perform on them. Other players would attempt to lower each other’s patients’ health at the same time. Once their patients do get surgery, then it’s a game of chicken with the players themselves. Keep on doing more surgery with inflicting as much pain on them as possible without sending their patients to the morgue and not scoring at all.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Not sure. Wonder if it was part of promotional campaign to encourage teenagers to consider a career in the medical field, preferably if they display potentially sadistic or sociopathic tendencies.

Why it’s not: Two words: recreational surgery. Seriously, the US healthcare system already has doctors performing a lot of unnecessary procedures on long-suffering patients as is (which is non-recreational as far as we’re concerned). The idea of performing unnecessary surgery just for recreation would be medical malpractice at its worst as well as a quick way for a real surgeon to lose their license and be thrown in jail.

Available?: Hopefully not.

23. Darkies in the Melon Patch

Now this may look like an old timey racist board game but it's really a modern fake (which makes it even worse). Nevertheless, it would be loved by anyone who's a fan of Chutes and Ladders as well as Birth of a Nation (with the latter group of fans being people I really don't want to associate with).

Now this may look like an old timey racist board game but it’s really a modern fake (which makes it even worse). Nevertheless, it would be loved by anyone who’s a fan of Chutes and Ladders as well as Birth of a Nation (with the latter group of fans being people I really don’t want to associate with).

Category: Racing, Roll/Spin and Move

Players: 2-4

Contents: 4 stereotypically black player pieces, board, dice

Object: Think of it as Chutes and Ladders meets Birth of a Nation. Players try to get out of a local melon patch as quickly as possible. Hazards encountered are angry farmers, bearded grandmothers, as well as distracting events like melon races and spitting contests.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Maybe the designer wanted to rip off antique game collectors. I have no idea.

Why it’s not: For one, it’s racist as hell and when I compare something to Birth of a Nation, I don’t mean it as a compliment. Second, despite it being a game of seemingly old school racism as well as the old timey design, it’s probably modern fake.

Available?: Who in the hell would want to buy this? It’s the Birth of a Nation of board games for Christ’s sake!

24. Offshore Oil Strike

In 1973, BP sponsored this promotional board game to preach the blessings of offshore oil drilling. Of course, decades later this would come back to bite them with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill.  Greasy and polluted fun for the whole family.

In 1973, BP sponsored this promotional board game to preach the blessings of offshore oil drilling. Of course, decades later this would come back to bite them with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill. Greasy and polluted fun for the whole family.

Category: Commodity Speculation, Roll/Spin and Move, Oil, Gas, and Petroleum, Promotional

Players: 2-4

Contents: game board, decks of cards, tokens of 4 different colors, fake money, site indicator

Object: Players take on roles of BP (Hull), Amoco (Bergen), Chevron (Rotterdam), and Mobil (Dieppe) in their quest for oil. As with other games of offshore oil exploitation, there is also the risk of storms will reduce production on, or eliminate, one’s oil platforms. First player to make $120 million in cash wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I think this game was a promotional product by BP in 1973 to raise awareness of the blessings of offshore drilling. Of course, it was a time of an energy crisis with the Saudi Arabian embargo.

Why it’s not: Because the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill should put the science at rest that offshore drilling isn’t an environmentally friendly way to extract resources. In fact, this incident made BP responsible for a catastrophic environmental disaster on the US Gulf Coast. In this game, oil spills only cost the player a small token amount of money to clean up and forget about. But in real life, oil spills put entire ecosystems in danger, pollute the water, and drive coastal business away ruining the livelihoods of many in the process. Swallow that and I’m sure it’s not a game that’s greasy fun for the whole family. Hope the pelicans and seagulls love petroleum sauce with their seafood.

Available?: It’s been discontinued, but continues biting BP in the ass to this day.

25. Mystic Skull: The Game of Voodoo

Voodoo is a real religion in the Caribbean and the Deep South. However, if you really want to know about Voodoo, you might not want to play this game. Seriously, it's the kind of Voodoo the media depicts with the black magic stuff and all.

Voodoo is a real religion in the Caribbean and the Deep South. However, if you really want to know about Voodoo, you might not want to play this game. Seriously, it’s the kind of Voodoo the media depicts with the black magic stuff and all.

Category: Children’s, Horror

Players:2-4

Contents: game board, cauldron, “mysterious moving skull,” voodoo dolls, bone, multicolored pins, tokens

Object: Players are witch doctors who try to fill their opponents’ voodoo dolls with pins while trying to keep their own from being filled. Stirring the cauldron with the bone, the mysterious moving Mystic Skull will magically stop at various voodoo segments around the board, directing players to place pins in each other’s voodoo do or to exchange tokens in order to remove pins from their own. When their tokens are up, the player is at the mercy of others. When their voodoo doll is full of pins, he or she is out of the game. The last person with empty pin holes in their doll wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, it was made in 1964 when Island and Tiki motifs were quite popular.

Why it’s not: Voodoo is an actual religion around the Caribbean and the Deep South. Sure they might have Voodoo dolls, but it’s been known to be misrepresented in popular culture. And no, Voodoo practitioners aren’t cultists and they don’t sacrifice virgins. Let’s just say the Voodoo practice in popular media is way different from the reality.

Available?: It’s most likely out of print.

26. Mr. Bacon’s Big Adventure

In a more disgusting format of Candyland, join Mr. Bacon on a journey through Meatland. Has alternative rules to turn the game into a gluttonous meat fest. Might result in high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

In a more disgusting format of Candyland, join Mr. Bacon on a journey through Meatland. Has alternative rules to turn the game into a gluttonous meat fest. Might result in high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Category: Food/Cooking

Players: 2-4

Contents: game board, spinner, 4 game pieces, stands, and 24 game cards

Object: It works kind of like Candyland except players navigate through Meatland. Places on the board include the Mustard Marsh, Wiener Wasteland, and Sausage Sea. They also have dark places like Vegan Alley and Gristle Grotto. First to make it to the Great Frying Pan wins. Comes with alternative rules to turn the game into a gluttonous meat fest.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I don’t know, the popularity of bacon. It was made in 2009.

Why it’s not: For one, the worldwide obesity epidemic and how it’s perpetuated by the fast food industry, the work culture, rampant consumerism, and low wage workers stuck with dead end jobs while rich fat cats hoard money for all its worth. Second, let’s just say as creepy as Candyland may be, this meaty ripoff appears pretty disgusting.

Available?: Yes, it’s certainly available.

27. War of the Networks: The TV Rating Game

Now here is a board game based on the competitive world of network television before cable, conglomerates, premium channels and Netflix. It's an artifact that has ceased to be relevant.

Now here is a board game based on the competitive world of network television before cable, conglomerates, premium channels and Netflix. It’s an artifact that has ceased to be relevant.

Category: Economic, Auction/Bidding, Media Theme

Players: 2-4

Contents: game board, flash cards, fake money, game tokens, star tiles, auction strips

Object: It kind of works like Monopoly with some media stuff involved in which players try to earn the most money by the end of the game (which is either when only one network is left on the air, or when certain tiles run out). Player may land on spaces that trigger various events like drawing an event card, auctioning off a new TV show, star, or Academy Award movie, or triggering a ratings war. During a ratings war, players lay out the tiles representing their prime time lineup of shows and movies, along with bonuses for stars and reviews. Shows with the lowest rating in their timeslot are cancelled and when networks have no shows left, it goes off the air and the player is out of the game.

Why they thought it was a good idea: To show how the TV business works I guess. Made in 1979.

Why it’s not: Because the TV business doesn’t work like that anymore with the advent of basic and premium cable, the rise of media conglomerates, and Netflix. Not to mention, while plenty of shows do get cancelled from time to time, a lot of reality shows are still kept on the air for years.

Available?: Probably not.

28. Moonshine

Now this is the kind of game that takes place during Prohibition in which you have homemade high content grain alcohol, hillbillies, fast rum running stock cars, and police. Might make you want to ask whether there's a board game.

Now this is the kind of game that takes place during Prohibition in which you have homemade high content grain alcohol, hillbillies, fast rum running stock cars, and police. Might make you want to ask whether there’s a board game.

Category: Economic, Transportation

Players: 2-5

Contents: game board, game tokens, deck of cards

Object: This games pits police and moonshiners against each other. Here, the moonshiners aren’t just here to beat the police but spoil other players’ moonshine as well. Each player has a chance to win and must take advantage of every situation, even if it means a moonshine player helping a police player.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This was made in the 1970s so perhaps nostalgia for Prohibition perhaps?

Why it’s not: Well, it involves organized crime and booze. Not to mention, the negative implications of the moonshiner stereotype. You know, a hillbilly in Appalachian Mountains. Plus, it’s probably not as fun as other bootlegging games.

Available?: Probably not.

29. Trafficking

Enter the cutthroat world of the marijuana trade and compete with your friends to become the Traffic King. Has ceased relevance in Washington State and Colorado. Maybe they should come out with a version that replaces  pot with meth. But then again, that would be a tie-in game to Breaking Bad.

Enter the cutthroat world of the marijuana trade and compete with your friends to become the Traffic King. Has ceased relevance in Washington State and Colorado. Maybe they should come out with a version that replaces pot with meth. But then again, that would be a tie-in game to Breaking Bad.

Category: Roleplaying, Roll/Spin, and Pickup and Driver

Players: 3-9

Contents: playing board, pack of 16 “Sour Grapes” cards, pack of 16 “Flip Out” cards, 8 THC Transit Passes, 1 Trafficking “Scores” Card, 1 marker crayon, 9 plastic moving pieces, a cardboard punchout card depicting characters and lids, 1 pair of dice, a supply of UNDERGROUND BUCKS in the following denominations $10, $20, $50, $100 & $500

Object: This is a game of the cannabis trade in which players featuring a Narc and 8 dealers. The object for the dealers is to become the “Traffic King” or the first dealer to sell a kilo of marijuana (36 ounces or “lids”) before getting busted by the Narc. For the Narc the object is to bust all the dealers before they sell a kilo.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, it was made in 1983 as a parody of the marijuana trade as well as the War on Drugs. Other than that, I’m not sure.

Why it’s not: For one, it’s not very relevant since pot is now legal in at least Washington State and Colorado. Second, this is a game pertaining to drug dealing and I’m sure shows like Breaking Bad or The Wire have made it clear why it’s not a good career choice. Then again, it’s for adults only but still.

Available?: Well it has its own website. But it’s said to have 420 in stock. Thus, it’s out of print.

30. Up Against The Wall, Motherfucker!

This was created by a Columbia University student in 1969 commemorate the first anniversary of a noted student riot. Gives you an idea of what the game is about.

This was created by a Columbia University student in 1969 commemorate the first anniversary of a noted student riot. Gives you an idea of what the game is about and it’s not pretty.

Category: Political, War

Players: 2

Contents: game board, 12 markers, 24 small cards

Object: Players consist of the radicals and the administration. Map features 11 political subgroups in the game (e.g. Black Students, Moderate Strikers, Alumni, Harlem Community). The object for the players is to have the most influence, determined by the marker positions on these tracks, for their side by the end of the 12th turn. During turns, players deploy abstracted units representing political leverage onto the tracks to ‘attack’ the other player’s units (as tokens, Dunnigan suggests small pieces of paper colored red or marijuana seeds for the Radicals, and blue bits of paper or capsules of Seconal for the Administration) and so move the markers towards their ‘end’ of the tracks.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This was created by Columbia University students in 1969 to commemorate the anniversary of the campus riots it’s derived from.

Why it’s not: Uh, because it’s based on the radical student protest riots in the 1960s which would later give rise to anarchist groups like the Yippies who raised hell during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Available?: Hopefully not.

Family Unfriendly Board Games: Part 2 – Tressy Girl Career Game to Landlord

687474703a2f2f696d6735322e696d616765736861636b2e75732f696d6735322f353136362f636875746573616e64626c6164646572732e6a7067

Note: The opening images in this series aren’t of real games by the way. They’re just photoshopped pictures I’ve obtained through various websites. But they kind of emphasize that these games I’m featuring aren’t meant for families for various reasons.

So we’re off to a good start. You might’ve noticed that many of the first bunch were quite controversial and very family unfriendly at that. Well, let’s just say that a lot of these tend to have some crazy history behind them and perhaps are made with an agenda. Of course, with quite a few, you can guess the creator’s politics on those. Nevertheless, board games may not be the kind of innocent entertainment as you may see. Many of these featured will also tend to be very old as well as made at a time when gaming companies could get away with a lot more shit than they do now. Mostly it’s because they have to cater to families. And if they’re not, it’s usually to geeks, fratboys, preteens, and partiers. It also explains why some of them might tend to not age well, particularly if they were targeted to preteen to teenage girls. So without further adieu, here is my second installment to my series of family unfriendly board games.

11. Tressy Girl Career Game

It wasn't uncommon for companies in the 1960s to release career girl games to give young girls options beyond the traditional housewife. Unfortunately, these options tend to center around caregivers, assistants, or sex objects. Kind of makes the early James Bond movies look feminist in comparison but not too much.

It wasn’t uncommon for companies in the 1960s to release career girl games to give young girls options beyond the traditional housewife. Unfortunately, these options tend to center around caregivers, assistants, or sex objects. Kind of makes the early James Bond movies look feminist in comparison but not too much.

Category: Educational

Players: 2-4

Contents: board, dice, player tokens, cards

Object: Players navigate a path to become a successful “career girl” by becoming a nurse, secretary, teacher, model, dancer or actress.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Maybe because the creator thought girls needed to learn about their career options outside marriage and housewife.

Why it’s not: Unfortunately, those were basically the only acceptable positions available to most women at the time, assuming that she came from a less enlightened neighborhood in 1960. Nevertheless, it’s basically built on a sexist presence that women either have to be assistants, caregivers, or pretty things to look at. Same goes for a lot of girl career games from the era.

Available?: Let’s hope not, for feminism’s sake. However, it’s not the only one.

12. Beat the Border

Game about the drug trade at the US-Mexican border where players represent drug mules. Dealers are named Eduardo, Renaldo, and Jose. Hopefully nothing racist about that. Oh, wait a minute, yes there is. Yes there is.  The kind of game less offensive to Mexicans than the Frito Bandito.

Game about the drug trade at the US-Mexican border where players represent drug mules. Dealers are named Eduardo, Renaldo, and Jose. Hopefully nothing racist about that. Oh, wait a minute, yes there is. Yes there is. The kind of game more offensive to Mexicans than the Frito Bandito.

Category: Economic, Humor

Players: 2-4

Contents: board, money, player pieces, scorecard, dice

Object: Players start with $1000 and spend the game crossing the US-Mexican border as a drug mule risking possible arrest by US authorities. Player who makes the preset money goal wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This game was released in the early 1970s. Guess it pertains to drugs? Hey, don’t ask me.

Why it’s not: Well, the guys you buy drugs at the border are named Eduardo, Renaldo, and Jose. You know, Mexicans. You can guess the negative Hispanic stereotype in play here.

Available?: Most likely not.

13. Jews Out!

Now you can orchestrate your own Holocaust with this Jews Out! board game. Actually, just kidding because you can't. In fact, there are only 2 remaining copies of this game still known to exist. And that's a good thing.

Now you can orchestrate your own Holocaust with this Jews Out! board game. Actually, just kidding because you can’t. In fact, there are only 2 remaining copies of this game still known to exist. And that’s a good thing nobody could play this game. Because reviving it would be very bad.

Category: Cross and Circle

Players: 2-6

Contents: a pair of dice, a game board, tokens, and several game piece figurines with large pointed hats meant to represent Jews

Object: Players role dice, move token to Jewish homes to collect Jews. They must then escort these Jews to a “collection point” so they can be banished from the city (to a special place where they’ll be subject to forced labor, starvation, disease, and poisonous showers). First player to expel 6 Jews wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: It was viewed as a tool for Nazi propaganda, particularly when it came to the Nuremburg laws and the Kristallnacht. Didn’t stop the Nazi government from saying it trivialized their Anti-Semitic policies and was commercially unsuccessful.

Why it’s not: Uh, do I really need to explain that is a game about the Holocaust? I mean you know, the time when millions of people (namely Jews) were rounded up and sent to concentration camps where they either were forced to work with and succumb to adverse conditions, subject to inhuman experimentation, or simply exterminated. Seriously, that’s just fucking insane!

Available?: Hopefully, only the 2 remaining copies were sent to a museum while the rest were burned.

14. Adultery

If you're married and attend an office party, you might hope that your boss doesn't force you to play this game. Then again, if you are, make sure you threaten a sexual harassment suit against your sleazy ass supervisor.

If you’re married and attend an office party, you might hope that your boss doesn’t force you to play this game. Then again, if you are, make sure you threaten a sexual harassment suit against your sleazy ass supervisor.

Category: Mature/Adult, Party

Players: At least 3

Contents: board, player tokens, game, tokens

Object: Players must hook up with at least 2 people in real life. I know the publisher doesn’t say it that way. It’s like a 1960s board game version of Tinder.

Why they thought it was a good idea: The makers wanted to appeal to the swingers demographic or make a great game for swingers’ parties.

Why it’s not: Uh, can’t you see the title basically means, “cheat on your spouse?” Guess this board game led to a lot of divorce cases and daytime talk show paternity disputes. Pull this one out of an office Christmas party gift exchange, you might expect to spend 5 minutes with your boss, if you aren’t savvy enough to threaten a sexual harassment suit first.

Available?: Oh, please, no.

15. Blacks & Whites

Basically this is a Monopoly type game which was supposed to spread awareness of institutionalized racism. But ends up highlighting it in the most inappropriate way possible. Was originally designed so the black players can't win, which is the point.  Let's just say illustrating the evils of racism doesn't work with board games.

Basically this is a Monopoly type game which was supposed to spread awareness of institutionalized racism. But ends up highlighting it in the most inappropriate way possible. Was originally designed so the black players can’t win, which is the point. Let’s just say illustrating the evils of racism doesn’t work with board games.

Category: Economic, Educational, Negotiation

Players: 3-9

Contents: board, 5 white tokens, 4 black tokens, 2 dice, several flat black bars, property cards, as well as cards for blacks and whites.

Object: It’s kind of like Monopoly save the fact that white players start with $1 million while black players begin with $10,000. First player to get 100 status points wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Psychology Today thought publishing a game like this would help teach people why institutional racism against African Americans and other people of color is bad. Or as they call it, “the absurdities of living in different worlds while playing on the same board.”

Why it’s not: Basically this game highlights the evils of racism in the most inappropriate way possible as well as shows why the board game depiction pertaining to certain social problems like institutionalized racism doesn’t work. Originally it was designed so the black players can’t win since they have limited property options such as “inner ghetto,” “outer ghetto,” “lower integrated,” “upper integrated,” “newer estates,” and “older estates.” But the game was later redesigned or the rules were simply ignored. Seriously, this game basically creates an unequal competitive advantage and is unwinnable by design for certain players, which doesn’t work well in board games. Or any game as a matter of fact.

Available?: It’s been out of print for years, thank God.

16. Project Porn Star

Now this is a game that puts players in world where movie directors lack the creative imagination to make wonderful movies and the budgets awarded to Michael Bay. For perverts who see nothing wrong with exploiting women for their sex appeal in showbiz.

Now this is a game that puts players in world where movie directors lack the creative imagination to make wonderful movies and the budgets awarded to Michael Bay. For perverts who see nothing wrong with exploiting women for their sex appeal in showbiz.

Category: Card, Humor, Mature/Adult

Players: 2-5

Contents: Sets of cards

Object: Players are cast as porn directors to navigate their way through the porn business with cards representing actors, objects, and actions. But beware of thieves, hackers, ugly actors, and moralistic directors. Great way to exploit women, waste celluloid, and create films with absolutely no storyline.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I have no idea. Seriously, I wasn’t consulted. Guess it was a way to appeal to frat boys and encourage them to use their imaginations.

Why it’s not: Let’s not kid ourselves, the porn industry is a terrible business known to exploit and objectify women as well as is bereft of any artistic value of any kind.

Available?: Probably at some adult sex shop.

17. Five Little Ni***r Boys

Hmm...a game about killing 5 black boys in cold blood? Then again, it was made in 1950 in Britain. But still, it's obscenely racist it's not even funny. I mean we had black people killed in the US for no reason on the time, especially under "Stand Your Ground" in Florida.

Hmm…a game about killing 5 black boys in cold blood? Then again, it was made in 1950 in Britain. But still, it’s obscenely racist it’s not even funny. I mean we had black people killed in the US for no reason on the time, especially under “Stand Your Ground” in Florida.

Category: First Person Shooter

Players: 2-4

Contents: a box with 5 black boys, a pop gun firing corks, and a “Watermelon Coon” target

Object: Players try to shoot the 5 little black boys in cold blood. The one who guns down the most wins but loses their conscience.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This was made in Britain in 1950 perhaps with the idea of cashing in on white supremacists in the American South.

Why it’s not: Seriously, do I really need to explain? I mean this whole game is about killing black people for absolutely no reason for God’s sake!

Available?: Hopefully, not.

18. Kablamo

It's like Russian Roulette: The Board Game. Well, except that unlike the real thing, nobody dies, except maybe on paper. Really disturbing if you think about.

It’s like Russian Roulette: The Board Game. Well, except that unlike the real thing, nobody dies, except maybe on paper. Really disturbing if you think about.

Category: Fighting, Humor, Memory

Players: 2-5

Contents: 5 boards depicting a barrel of a gun with six spaces as well as playing counters representing bullets.

Object: Similar to “Russian Roulette” in which each gun is loaded with playing counters on the spaces. Bullets come in various types with some killing you when fired, others allowing you to change bullet position (either in your gun or someone else’s) or modify bullet behavior. Each turn consists of with all players simultaneously firing their “gun” with rotating the barrel with the top bullet. But players can randomly reload by drawing new counters and playing them on empty spaces. Still, guess the only surviving player wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Your guess is as good as mine. Then again, it’s supposed to be for ages 12 and up.

Why it’s not: Do I really need to explain? I mean it’s basically a non-deadly board game version of “Russian Roulette.” That kind of sums up the reason why it’s not a good idea.

Available?: Well, there’s one in stock on Amazon.

19. Pimps and Hos

Pimps & Hos: The game about procuring girls into prostitution. Yeah, I know it's an adult game but I'm not sure if it's appropriate one to play know how prostitutes tend to be expendable on crime shows.

Pimps & Hos: The game about procuring girls into prostitution. Yeah, I know it’s an adult game but I’m not sure if it’s appropriate one to play know how prostitutes tend to be expendable on crime shows.

Category: Card, Mature/Adult

Players: 3-6

Contents: Deck of cards

Object: A game on prostitution. Players play “John” cards on their girls to make money. First player to earn $1500 wins the game. But it’s not that simple since other players could send each other’s girls to jail and have to be bailed out. Also, if a girl fails a health exam, she’s off the street. The girls can also switch pimps, by the way.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Beats me, but it’s certainly not for kids.

Why it’s not: This is a game that mocks prostitution, which is an exploitative business for women in more ways than one. And it doesn’t help that prostitutes are often targets of violent crime since they’re less likely to call law enforcement who’d most likely put them in jail (since most inmates in women’s prisons tend to be in for prostitution. Not to mention, this also explains why a lot of prostitutes tend to be murder victims in the media). Also, they tend to be abused and many tend to have drug addictions. And there’s the fact a lot of prostitutes tend to be victims of sex trafficking, especially if they’re from poorer countries.

Available?: Hopefully not.

20. Landlord

In this game players can build apartments, rent to paying tenants, collect rent, kick out poor tenants, and blow up buildings. Basically has a more glamorous take on the ugly stuff that landlords actually do.

In this game players can build apartments, rent to paying tenants, collect rent, kick out poor tenants, and blow up buildings. Basically has a more glamorous take on the ugly stuff that landlords actually do.

Category: Card, Humor

Players: 2-6

Contents: Deck of cards

Object: Build apartments, rent them to tenants, and collect rent. Each card has an apartment on one side as well as tenants, roofs, renovations, and special actions on the other. Players can put wealthy tenants into their apartments and put deadbeats into their opponents.’ They can even bomb buildings as long as they don’t get caught since jail awaits the careless.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, it’s for teens. It’s an apartment management game. Other than that, I’m not sure.

Why it’s not: Let’s just say landlord isn’t a glamorous profession and this game sort of perpetuates a lot of negative stereotypes about them. Especially when it comes to bombing their own buildings or sending deadbeats to other places.

Available?: Not sure but hopefully not.

Family Unfriendly Board Games: Part 1 – Hunger Games District 12 to The Sinking of the Titanic Game

687474703a2f2f696d6734332e696d616765736861636b2e75732f696d6734332f313137362f6465616c6e6f6465616c2e6a7067

Note: The opening images in this series aren’t of real games by the way. They’re just photoshopped pictures I’ve obtained through various websites. But they kind of emphasize that these games I’m featuring aren’t meant for families for various reasons.

For 5000 years, people have played board games to amuse themselves with others. Of course, in the age of the Internet, they tend to be played during camping trips or power outages for the most part. But even today, they tend to be a part of many people’s lives. Just look at Kickstarter. In fact, I have a friend from high school who has started his own Kickstarter campaign for a trading card game called, “Sky Royals,” I think but I can’t be exactly sure. Sure to think it’s “Sky” something but I could be wrong. Still, we tend to associate board games with the notion of family game night in which parents and kids gather around to play these as a family. It’s usually associated with the weekend or Friday, save maybe during the high school football season for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, though we tend to associate board games for kids, this isn’t always the case such as you see with Dungeons & Dragons fans. But it got me thinking of which games I wouldn’t see as appropriate for a families to play or ones families wouldn’t find fun. Some may be offensive and inappropriate. Others might be boring and dumb. Some may even have complicated rules or unfortunate implications. Still, I wouldn’t recommend them for any family on a Friday night. So for your summer reading pleasure (especially if you live in Southwestern Pennsylvania), here is my first installment of some very family unfriendly board games.

  1. Hunger Games District 12
Let's just say the Hunger Games movie franchise really doesn't understand the idea of misaimed marketing. Seriously, I think this game was created by people who have no idea what the books are about.

Let’s just say the Hunger Games movie franchise really doesn’t understand the idea of misaimed marketing. Seriously, I think this game was created by people who have no idea what the books are about.

Category: Strategy

Players: 2-4

Contents: Game board, 55 resource cards, 9 special deck cards, 44 reaping cards, 4 player tokens, 1 round token, 1 first action token and 6 cover tokens

Object: Avoid the Reaping by using your wits to acquire food, clothing, medicine, and fuel before being chosen. Players also try to avoid taking Tesserae which will increase their chances on Reaping Day.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, The Hunger Games Trilogy are popular books and the movies are box office hits. Not to mention, the franchise is aimed toward teens and young adults.

Why it’s not: Because the story centers around certain concepts that aren’t so nice like violence, poverty, and political repression. Also, most Panem teenagers avoid the Reaping with sheer dumb luck, even though the reaping system is basically rigged and the poorest kids are the most likely chosen, especially from the poorest districts like District 12.

Available?: Yes, through all major retailers.

  1. Hunger Games: Training Days Strategy Game
Based on the popular young adult trilogy about forcing a bunch of post-apocalyptic teenagers into a duel to the death on national television. And this is a game pertaining to their training before they all kill each other. Misaimed merchandising indeed.

Based on the popular young adult trilogy about a dystopian society forcing a bunch of post-apocalyptic teenagers into a duel to the death on national television. And this is a game pertaining to their training before they all kill each other. Misaimed merchandising indeed.

Category: Strategy, Auction/Bidding

Players: 2-6

Contents: 18 Tribute cards representing the boy and girl Tributes from 9 Districts (1-4,7,8,10-12), 3 Effort tokens for each District (1,3,6), Deck of 45 Challenge cards: 3 End of Day cards, 24 Event cards, 8 Special Event cards, 10 Alliance cards, 9 District markers, Approval Rating score board, 3 dice

Object: Players choose tributes and challenge each other to matches on wits and skills as well as other attributes.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Once again, The Hunger Games Trilogy is a best-selling series and box office franchise hit. It also caters toward teens and young adults.

Why it’s not: The game basically glamorizes a competition in which 24 teenagers are chosen throughout a dystopian country to fight each other to the death on national television. The Hunger Games are hateful and deplorable as well as ruin the victors’ psychologically. In fact, the whole series is viciously anti-war and the Hunger Games basically symbolize how horrible, life destroying, and how evil humanity can be. Or in short, a dehumanizing death match.

Available?: Yes, through all major retailers.

  1. Subway Vigilante
In the 1970s, this was one of the ways you can live your life as a vigilante action hero on the morning commute. Of course, in real life, vigilante violence leads to collateral damage, jail time, and everyone hating you.

In the 1970s, this was one of the ways you can live your life as a vigilante action hero on the morning commute. Of course, in real life, vigilante violence leads to collateral damage, jail time, and everyone hating you.

Category: Adventure, Humor

Players: 1-4

Contents: 1 game board, Rule Sheet, 4 gun tokens, 24 bullet tokens, 30 “Make My Day” Cards, 30 “Punk” cards

Object: Armed with a handgun and 6 bullets, each player must survive a commute between Brooklyn and the Bronx with a subway filled with punks as well as obstacles like car derailments, shoving matches, nosy security guards, overworked policemen, and botched subway transfers. Includes a round table discussion at the end of the game.

Why they thought it was a good idea: I don’t know, the popularity of Dirty Harry and Death Wish during the 1970s?

Why it’s not: For one, it glamorizes vigilante violence which is a very terrible thing and downright illegal. Second, it makes New York look like a crime ridden death trap, Third, let’s say that gunplay in a subway can lead to significant collateral damage.

Available?: I’m not sure. Probably not.

  1. Gay Monopoly
Gay Monopoly: A kind of game that perpetuates so many gay male stereotypes that it should go back into the closet where it belongs. Seriously,  it doesn't portray an accurate picture of gay life which isn't much different from straight life anyway.

Gay Monopoly: A kind of game that perpetuates so many gay male stereotypes that it should go back into the closet where it belongs. Seriously, it doesn’t portray an accurate picture of gay life which isn’t much different from straight life anyway.

Category: Economic, Humor, Negotiation

Players: 2-6

Contents: game board, instructions, paper money, 2 dice, bathtubs, bar tokens, and 6 original playing tokens (jeep, leather cap, high-heeled pump, handcuffs, hairdryer, and teddy bear), 28 property cards, 21 Family Pride cards, 16 Manipulation cards, 31 Ollie’s Sleaze Bag cards

Object: It’s like Monopoly but instead of buying streets and placing homes and hotels, players buy gay locales where they put bars and bathhouses. Also, you sometimes have to act out gay stereotypes to get more money.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Its original purpose is to celebrate the “gay lifestyle” coinciding with the rise of the Gay Rights Movement of the 1970s.

Why it’s not: Basically the game goes with every type of gay man stereotype you can think of. Not to mention, it doesn’t include lesbians. Still, when it come to the “gay lifestyle,” the only way it’s distinguished from their straight counterparts is fact they prefer to have sex with members of their own gender (that doesn’t result in children). That is all. Yeah, quite offensive and not reflective of the gay community’s diversity.

Available?: Not really, for it’s out of print thanks to a Parker Brothers copyright lawsuit.

  1. Ghettopoly
Ghettopoly is like Monopoly depicting the life of urban poor blacks according to what white people perceive through Hip Hop and rap lyrics. Was subject to a very real NAACP lawsuit.

Ghettopoly is like Monopoly depicting the life of urban poor blacks according to what white people perceive through Hip Hop and rap lyrics. But it is totally absent of any dignity and respect you see on The Wire. Was subject to a very real NAACP lawsuit and has been banned.

Category: Economic, Mature/Adult, Roll/Spin and Move

Players: 2-7

Contents: Game Board, Loan Shark Tray, 40 Crack Houses, 17 Projects, Pink Slip Cards, Ghetto Stash and Hustle Cards, 7 Game pieces (Pimp, Hoe, 40 oz, Machine Gun, Marijuana Leaf, Basket Ball and Crack), Counterfeit Money, 2 Dice

Object: It’s very much like Monopoly except that players buy stolen properties, pimp hoes, build crack houses and projects, pay protection fees, borrow from loansharks, and get carjacked. Railroads are replaced with liquor stores while some properties consist of a massage parlor, peep show, and pawn shop. Taxation squares are replaced by carjacking and police shakedown squares.

Why they thought it was a good idea: It’s actually a parody of the urban poor black lifestyle allegedly celebrated in Hip Hop and Rap lyrics.

Why it’s not: If this was a tribute to The Wire, it would be much more understandable. Then again, probably not. Seriously, this game is incredibly racist and derogatory toward black people that it sparked controversy since its release in 2003. Also, just because Hip Hop lyrics contain specific references doesn’t exactly mean these rappers specifically intended them to be celebrated or glamorized as this game does.

Available?: No, because it was subject to a lawsuit by the NAACP and Hasbro as well as been banned on various websites.

  1. Capital Punishment
Basically a game which shows people why the US needs the death penalty and why liberals are soft on crime. Also, gets the real situation on capital punishment totally wrong such as media coverage, appeals process, large costs, proven innocence through DNA evidence, and the number of years it takes for someone to actually be executed.

Basically a game which shows people why the US needs the death penalty and why liberals are soft on crime. Also, gets the real situation on capital punishment totally wrong such as media coverage, appeals process, large costs, proven innocence through DNA evidence, and the number of years it takes for someone to actually be executed.

Category: Political, Strategy

Players: 2-4

Contents: 1 game board, 4 sets of four capital criminal playing pieces (murderer, rapist, arsonist and kidnapper) in four colors, 4 sets of two liberal playing pieces in four colors, 60 innocent citizen cards (15 for each player), 2 standard six sided dice, 3 spare innocent citizen cards.

Object: Players try to get their criminals into a combination of life imprisonment, death row, or the electric chair. But can also use Liberals to get a criminal back on the streets, angling for a second victory condition of killing all 15 of your opponents’ citizens and sending them to Heaven.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Let’s not kid ourselves, the designer’s intention was to convince people why the death penalty is a good idea.

Why it’s not: For one, this game basically states that the death penalty deters crime and that liberals are soft on crime. Not to mention, it tends to dismiss the fact that there are good reasons to be against capital punishment or criticize the criminal justice system. Nor does it provide an accurate description of criminal justice system such as racial profiling, class disparities, the ambiguity of innocence, and how life in prison without parole for the most serious crimes is a better alternative to a death sentence. Also, it leaves out how the legal process makes capital punishment insanely expensive as well as the fact that death row inmates could spend decades in prison before they’re executed. And then there’s the fact that death row inmates receive a lot of media coverage in the days before their execution as well as offers no closure to the victims. Then there’s the fact that more states have abolished capital punishment in recent years, most notably Nebraska, which isn’t a liberal state by any stretch of the imagination.

Available?: Hopefully not.

  1. Life as a Black Man
A game that shows a picture of institutionalized racism in America through the most offensive and stereotypical way possible. Obviously wasn't created by African Americans.

A game that shows a picture of institutionalized racism in America through the most offensive and stereotypical way possible. Obviously wasn’t created by African Americans.

Category: Role-Playing, Simulation

Players: 2-6

Contents: 1 24″ x 24″ game board, 1 9″ x 12″ Prison Platform, 1 4-sided die, 1 6-sided die, 6 game pawns, 12 decks of Action Cards: 25 GlamourWood cards, 25 Black University cards, 25 Military cards, 30 Ghetto cards, 25 Corporate America cards, 20 Church cards, 25 Prison cards, 25 Life cards, 50 Career cards, 25 Racism cards, 25 Crime cards, 25 Police cards, 18 Character Type Cards: 6 Creative, 6 Intellectual, 6 Athletic, 14 Transportation Cards: 5 “No Car” cards, 3 “Bucket” cards, 2 “Used Mid-Size” cards, 2 “New Sub-Compact” cards, 2 “New SUV” cards, 3 Debt cards, a pack of BlackMan money

Object: Players start as an 18 year old black male high school graduate and make moral choices throughout the game possibly finding themselves at Black University, the military, the ghetto, or “GlamourWood.” First player to reach the “Freedom” space wins. It’s kind of like the Game of Life, except possibly worse.

Why they thought it was a good idea: It’s original intention was to show how tough life is for a young black man and how it’s not easy.

Why it’s not: Unfortunately, this board attempts to simplify a very complex problem by involving a parade of stereotypes which blurs the lines between satire and actual racism. Players are also giving numerous opportunities to commit crimes which will earn more money but make them more likely to land in prison. Those with enough money can hire the “Dream Team” lawyers and get off without punishment, which is an obvious reference to O. J. Simpson. However, there could be worse, right?

Available?: Might be out of print for all we know.  Nevertheless, it’s now an app.

  1. Bombing of England
Now this game was created by the Nazis to commemorate their bombing of England during WWII. Luckily the Germans didn't win in real life. Also, the British have a game called Duel in the Dark which pertains to bombing Germany.

Now this game was created by the Nazis to commemorate their bombing of England during WWII. Luckily the Germans didn’t win in real life. Also, the British have a game called Duel in the Dark which pertains to bombing Germany.

Category: War, Pinball

Players: 2-4

Contents: a holed map of Great Britain as well as several spring driven balls.

Object: Players fire spring-loaded balls over a map that contains Great Britain and parts of Northern Europe. Players score points for each target the ball settles on and loses points if they hit a Nazi occupation or ally. Player who scores the most wins.

Why they thought it was a good idea: This game was created by Nazi Germany in 1939 as a propaganda piece.

Why it’s not: Uh, it’s basically a family board game celebrating the Battle of Britain in the most anti-British way possible. Seriously, it’s basically making light of cities being bombed, civilians getting killed, children having to be evacuated to the countryside, homes being destroyed, sleepless nights, and all the other crap the British had to deal with. Still, there’s one bombing German cities called Duel in the Dark.

Available?: Oh, God please no.

  1. Public Assistance: Why Bother Working for a Living
Also known as, "The Game that Demonizes Poor People, Particularly if They're Black." Really paints a very degrading and terrible picture on how people live on welfare (many of whom are already working for a living but aren't earning enough due to greedy corporate executives who want all the money for themselves). Another game the NAACP didn't like and for good reason.

Also known as, “The Game that Demonizes Poor People, Particularly if They’re Black.” Really paints a very degrading and terrible picture on how people live on welfare (many of whom are already working for a living but aren’t earning enough due to greedy corporate executives who want all the money for themselves). Another game the NAACP didn’t like and for good reason.

Category: Economic, Political

Players: 2-4

Contents: 63 Paper Baby ‘counters’, 54 Welfare Benefit cards, 54 Working Person’s Burden cards

8 plastic pawns in 4 colors, 3 dice, Money, Board

Object: Players move around the board in 2 different tracks “working person’s rut” and “able-bodied welfare recipient’s promenade.” The goal is to collect the most money after taxes once a pre-determined circuits around the board have been achieved. Spaces on the board contain various instructions on where to move your piece or how much money to receive or pay out. Players also collect “welfare benefit” and “working person’s burden” cards as they progress around the board.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Of course, this game’s creator intended to satirize the welfare system and why it’s unfair that hard earned taxpayer money has to go to lazy, poor, drug addled, delinquent, and baby popping bums.

Why it’s not: This is a very derogatory game toward poor people, especially blacks in which they’re portrayed as lazy, drug addled, delinquent, and baby popping bums who won’t go work for a living. Not to mention, it really paints an inaccurate and terrible picture of people on welfare as well as the system itself as a nanny state. It also fails to show the horrific realities of people in poverty who might have a good reason to be on welfare such as being under 18, disabled, having no health insurance, working multiple dead end jobs on minimum wage, homelessness, minimum job security, racial profiling, corruption of law enforcement, and living in a shitty neighborhood with high crime and crappy schools as well as lack of job opportunities. Nevertheless, being on welfare doesn’t relieve anyone from poverty or any of that. Seriously, why do people have to be such assholes when it comes to poor people?

Available?: Hopefully, the first edition is out of print since the NAACP tried to keep it off the shelves. But they recently re-released the game as “Obozo’s America.”

  1. The Sinking of the Titanic Game
Though it's marketed as an educational game The Sinking of the Titanic should really be labeled as "misinformational" at best. Seriously, not only is it an insensitive board game topic, it also gets the aftermath wrong. I mean they have the survivors scavenging for supplies in the islands with residing baboons. Playing this game might make you owe James Cameron an apology.

Though it’s marketed as an educational game The Sinking of the Titanic should really be labeled as “misinformational” at best. Seriously, not only is it an insensitive board game topic, it also gets the aftermath wrong. I mean they have the survivors scavenging for supplies in the islands with residing baboons. Playing this game might make you owe James Cameron an apology if you thought the 1997 movie was very historically inaccurate. Well, not compared to this.

Category: Nautical, Educational

Players: 2-4

Contents: game boards, retainer clips, 24 passenger cards, 18 sea adventure cards, 18 island adventure cards, 6 lifeboats, 20 food tokens (five of each color), 20 water tokens (five of each color), 4 ship’s officers, 2 dice, metal binder screw and post

Object: As the Titanic is sinking, players must race around and rescue passengers from their state rooms and rush them to the life boats before the ship goes under. After the ship sinks, they must get enough food and water by visiting islands and/or drawing cards to stay alive until rescue boats appear. The first one to make there wins the game while everyone else dies. Oh, and there’s a thing about gathering supplies and racing to the islands.

Why they thought it was a good idea: Well, this game was released in 1975 so it’s certainly not a tie-in to the 1997 James Cameron movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. So I’m probably going with the educational standpoint.

Why it’s not: You have to wonder where Milton Bradley’s conscience was during this game’s development. Now trying to educate people about certain historic events is one thing. But to make a board game about the greatest maritime disaster in history that left over 1500 dead? Well, you’re doing it wrong! Also, the racing to islands thing to gather food and supplies for the survivors, uh, that didn’t happen in real life. Not to mention the Titanic sank in the north Atlantic and I’m sure the survivors didn’t encounter baboons. Seriously, capitalizing on a disaster? You got to be kidding me.

Available?: It caused such an outrage in the UK that it was renamed Abandon Ship with the iceberg being switched to a coral reef. The premise was changed to saving the most passengers, too.