A Video Game to Ruin the World and Fill Swiss Bank Accounts

A Video Game to Ruin the World and Fill Swiss Bank Accounts.

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The strategy game was made available on Steam in November for Windows and Mac OS X, following an initial version released in 2013. It takes the fundamental mechanics of a 4X game — “explore, expand, exploit, exterminate” — like Civilization, Age of Empires, or even the classic board game Risk, wherein you are the protagonist in developing the world and ruling its terrain. However, you are very clearly the villain in Alter’s inverted version, which is played over a world map whose poles have been inverted — the Gall-Peters projection map, to be exact, whose landmasses are more proportionately accurate. In 12 turns, with up to six players, you parse through the world like it’s only there for your benefit, buying government votes, building mines and factories, and using your power to control regional parliaments. It always ends with the same message: “The world has been ruined. Game over.”

The Dungeons and Dragons Session That Became a Real-Life Phenomenon

The Dungeons and Dragons Session That Became a Real-Life Phenomenon.

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DnD had officially arrived in Japan just a year earlier, in 1985. Before then, the table-top role playing game had been the sole preserve of the most dedicated otaku, who would import rulebooks from America and then go about translating them (and all this in the days before Amazon and Google Translate). The arrival of an official Japanese translation in 1985 finally opened up DnD to the masses, although even this version had some local quirks (memorably, ‘leather armour’ ended up being translated as ‘reggae armour’, and ‘platinum pieces’ became ‘plutonium pieces’).

Fantasy worlds that break history’s back – Boing Boing

Fantasy worlds that break history’s back – Boing Boing.

The game emphasizes the crisp spontaneity that emerges when time has no meaning for you. You can, at your leisure, wander through history filling in the blanks as you go. You can nuke a city and then travel back 5000 years to paint in all its little details for the rest of the evening, or travel forward in time to when the city is rebuilt. Only when the lens zooms in on a specific moment in time where character interaction is involved does everyone come together to roleplay a given scene. Here the microscope lens is at maximum magnification: You take a historical moment, say the assassination of an empress, and act it out in detail, explaining what happened and why.

Kids, the Holocaust, and “inappropriate” play

Kids, the Holocaust, and “inappropriate” play:

In play, whether it is the idyllic play we most like to envision or the play described by Eisen, children bring the realities of their world into a fictional context, where it is safe to confront them, to experience them, and to practice ways of dealing with them. Some people fear that violent play creates violent adults, but in reality the opposite is true. Violence in the adult world leads children, quite properly, to play at violence. How else can they prepare themselves emotionally, intellectually, and physically for reality? It is wrong to think that somehow we can reform the world for the future by controlling children’s play and controlling what they learn. If we want to reform the world, we have to reform the world; children will follow suit. The children must, and will, prepare themselves for the real world to which they must adapt to survive.

Games That Changed the World

Games That Changed the World:

acquire_2003.  Acquire (1962)

For 2 to 6 players, designed by Sid Sackson, originally published by 3M (now Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro). Acquire is the best-known game designed by one of the true giants of game design, Sid Sackson. When it was first published by Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), it introduced a new wave of strategy games to many adults. Acquire has been published in too many editions to count, in countries all over the world. It remains popular in strategy game circles, and I very much suspect that it

dnd_starter2.  Dungeons & Dragons (1973)

For 2 or more players, designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, originally published by TSR (now Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro). Before Dungeons & Dragons, there was no real roleplaying game market. After D&D, the term “RPG” became forever a part of our culture. It would be difficult to overstate the influence that Dungeons & Dragons has had on pop culture. It’s the ancestor not only of countless tabletop games, but also numerous online games, such as World of Warcraft.

Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’ – NYTimes.com

Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’ – NYTimes.com:

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Magie lived a highly unusual life. Unlike most women of her era, she supported herself and didn’t marry until the advanced age of 44. In addition to working as a stenographer and a secretary, she wrote poetry and short stories and did comedic routines onstage. She also spent her leisure time creating a board game that was an expression of her strongly held political beliefs.

Magie filed a legal claim for her Landlord’s Game in 1903, more than three decades before Parker Brothers began manufacturing Monopoly. She actually designed the game as a protest against the big monopolists of her time — people like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

Inside Monopoly’s secret war against the Third Reich • Eurogamer.net

Inside Monopoly’s secret war against the Third Reich • Eurogamer.net:

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This sounds insane, of course. As the world burned, Britain was devoting serious time and ingenuity to keeping have-a-go-heroes stocked with gizmos and trinkets churned out by a plucky bunch of garden shed types. It all makes a little more sense, though, when you take into account the sheer scale and complexity of the war that was being fought – and the number of soldiers who were being captured every day. Nutty as this statistic initially appears, in their gloriously angry history of European POWs, The Last Escape, John Nichol and Tony Rennell suggest that, by 1944, there could have been as many as nine million prisoners of various nationalities spread across axis territory. Nine million. By the end of the war, Germany was essentially a vast, unevenly distributed prison camp – a nation of wardens and cells and far, far worse.