This is a break from our vacation posts to post something completely different. I made a new friend at work this summer. She’s a student too – she’s in Visual Art. During the summer we would have weekly milkshakes, but now that we’re both back on campus we’ve changed them into weekly coffee/tea/specialty drink times so we can hang out and chat. For the purpose of anonymity I’ll be calling her Pinkie.
Yesterday we had our get together and somehow we got onto the subject of how I had never been to the Poli Sci common room/lounge/whatever you want to call it. So, we decided to go check it out. As Pinkie said – What time is it? Adventure Time.
We found it with relative ease – I had a vague idea of where it was at least. We looked around a bit and we both noticed a board game sitting on top of this cabinet. The name of the game – Class Struggle. No, I am not kidding. It’s a real thing. Naturally we had to pull it down and take a look.
Class Struggle: To Prepare for Life in Capitalist America – an educational game for kids from 8 to 80.
I can’t decide what the best part of this is, the terrible photoshopping or the lovely explanation of the game. We knew what we needed to do, we needed to play the game.
There were two rule books – we used the beginners rules
The first thing we had to do (other than reading the rules) was to roll a die to decide what class we would be. There are the Capitalists, the Workers, and the Minor Classes (Shopkeepers, Students, Farmers, etc). Since there were only two of us we ignored the minor class part – she got to be the Capitalists and I was the Workers. I also made her be the bank (she is the Capitalist after all XD).
Just like in Monopoly there are chance cards, but in Class Struggle the Capitalists and the Workers have their own piles of cards – I have no idea what the Minor Classes do – maybe they don’t get them? Or maybe it depends on something which pile they get to choose from? They can also choose to join an alliance with one of the major classes so maybe it depends on alliances?
Yeah, that’s right. If the workers win it’s Socialism and if the Capitalists win it’s Barbarism.
The game actually did not take very long – it might take longer if there’s more people playing.
Just Zipping Along
The chance cards are just kind of hilarious (actually, it’s all rather hilarious in a this is ridiculous and depressing game sort of way). I think this was my favorite one that I pulled.
Yeah, I also earned Assets which was a nice change.
From what we understood there are three different possible endings. One: The Capitalists win and squash the workers hopes and dreams. Two: The Workers win and there is revolution (I feel like this is probably rare). And then there’s number three: Nuclear War (Everyone Loses). Yes, Nuclear War is a legitimate way this game can end. Cheery, right?
Pinkie Killed Us All
Our game ended in Nuclear War. Which I guess is good for me because I would have lost either way? At least this way we both lost I guess…
It was, certifiably cheesy and ridiculous, but despite that (or maybe because of it) I would play it again in an instant.
The Back of the Box
Isn’t the back of the box great? I particularly love the ‘First of it’s Class’ and ‘Bored of Education’ bits. Yeah, apparently you can play this with your class if you’re a teacher. In the extended booklet there’s even a bit that sort of explains all the different board squares with lovely explanations about why the Assets (good) and Debits (bad) are doled out to each class on any given square. It includes lovely reminders about how the Capitalists don’t want black and white (or male and female) workers to unite because it’s easier to make money off them if they’re divided. I don’t know that that would be a good game to play with kids, but then, what do I know? It might have been fun in high school, but before that… Well, I don’t know what they were teaching kids in school when this game came out, but I’m not sure 8 year old me even knew what Capitalism was.
And Pinkie and I now have a new plan for our weekly get togethers – to explore the lounges/common rooms of every faculty on campus (except maybe the engineers/math, but that remains to be seen). Neither of us think anyone else will beat the hilarity that was Class Struggle, but I guess only time will tell.