Educational Board Gaming and Counter Politics

A Short History of the Election Game

Cover image Election, 1972

The election simulator, borrowing nearly all of its mechanical traits from the Eurogame, is primarily about indirect player competition. The primary difference between these two genres is the election simulator’s simulation of voter manipulation. Regardless of why this genre has received so little attention, it is my contention that critical game scholars should include this genre as a part of the discourse on educational and historiographical game designs. What follows is a brief history of the intersection between educational board gaming and the election simulator with a discussion of the game Shasn as a case study. Continue Reading

From Monopoly to Metal Gear

A Survey of Ludic Satire

Essay - Satire

Let’s talk about satire and games for a moment. Where these two intersect successfully we find critical, thought-provoking works that challenge contemporary social, cultural, political, or ideological beliefs. For this article I’ll adopt a rather loose definition of satire as an attempt to critique accepted beliefs through “irony, derision, or wit.” And while there are a wide range of beliefs worthy of criticism, I’m interested here primarily in accepted notions of violence and aggression as a means of resolution in mainstream videogames. The argument put forward here is that games provide a new form of criticism, ludic satire, that emanates from choice. Continue Reading