This is the currency of ‘socially conscious exclusive’ games, races and privileges

The first edition of Blacks and Whites was published more than 50 years ago, in 1970, but has since disappeared. Only a few occasions a copy has been published for auction. The game was led by the late Robert Somer, an internationally renowned professor at UC Davis and a pioneer of environmental psychology, who collaborated to study how human behavior is influenced by the design of the world around us. Psychology today. The original version was popular from an early age as an educational tool to teach people about privileges. Marcos and Feiman said they hoped to keep the tradition alive.

“In the 1970s … I had three kids and we played board games, the most popular exclusive,” wrote Somer, who died in February 2021, at the forefront of the remake version, while it was still in development. “When we played, I was shocked at how unrealistic it was … exclusively, everyone starts with the same amount of money. It certainly doesn’t fit the real world.

“I decided to change the rules and introduce disadvantaged players … As many parts of the county were covered by contracts and agreements that banned black residents, black players in our game would not initially be able to buy property anywhere on the board. They will start with less money and will suffer many penalties that do not affect white players. ”

Robert Sommer lived in California in the 1960s, where he began working on the game following the ethnic riots that erupted in the United States. The protests erupted over allegations of police abuse against a 21-year-old African-American man who was dragged to drive while intoxicated, along with people present at the scene when the man was arrested.

“The sad thing is that things are not so different 50 years ago,” said Barbara Somer, the wife of Robert Somer, whom he “humbled” while working on the original game. He said society is fundamentally different in many ways, but in many cases the same challenge for minorities in the 60s still exists half a century later. “They were able to keep the same basic structure and only needed to update the characters and features. Things are definitely better, there’s no question about that,” Somer said. “But what amazes me is how appropriate the game is still.”

Fifty years later, just after the assassination of George Floyd, Marcos and Fayman contacted Robert Somer, which also sparked widespread protests against police brutality. He gave them the green light to move forward and rearrange the game. In the foreword he wrote that reviving blacks and whites was a “great idea”. “A lot has changed since the 1970s, but” race relations have not improved much, “he wrote.

“The game was great at the time and we had time on our hands. George Floyd was killed then, so we both knew we had to do something about it, “Feiman said.” Time could not have been more appropriate. “

The basis of the game – to exclusively include race and privilege to make it more realistic – remains the same in the 50th anniversary edition. The game’s design has been updated to suit 21st century society, such as some of the assets that players can buy, opportunity cards, landing places and political issues (such as compensation, which pays lucky black characters for free, and gentrification, which is a lucky black Confiscates the player’s property). Players can also land in peaceful protest venues, where whites have to be allocated for 20 grand repair pools, and black players are “arrested and taken directly to the police station.” In the original game, black players could pull opportunity cards like “Mayor” [Richard] The Chicago Daily has been re-elected. Go straight to jail. For the white letter, a card reads, “You see a psychoanalyst about imagining a black panther fant 30,000 fee.”

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