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
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
Category: Economic, Humor
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!
Category: Cross and Circle
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.
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
Category: Economic, Educational, Negotiation
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
Category: Card, Humor, Mature/Adult
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
Category: First Person Shooter
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.
Category: Fighting, Humor, Memory
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
Category: Card, Mature/Adult
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.
Category: Card, Humor
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.