Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interview with Diogenes Games, and Socialism

Yes, Socialsm: the Game. Diogenes Games is currently running a campaign on Kickstarter to fund this satirical unofficial expansion for Monopoly. Yes, I know several of you are shaking your heads. Comedy abounds. Without further delay:

What's the gaming background of the folks at Diogenes Games?

We all bring diverse backgrounds to our work—the whole team enjoys games, but two of us are really into board games. Personally, I made several games as a kid. In college I was part of a simulation club where we played out very long, very detailed historic simulation and strategy games (maybe a bit nerdy?!) As a Dad, I personally enjoy playing games with my kids – family favorites are Settlers of Catan, Axis and Allies, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly, and Seven Wonders.

To make the game, our professional backgrounds as writers, attorneys, graphic artists, executives, engineers, and manufacturers made the process of creating and publishing the game very smooth.

Talk us through what lead you to develop Socialism: the Game.

The 2016 US Presidential election is CRAZY. A couple buddies and I were talking, and expressing dismay at the socialist and populist themes coming from the left. We started making jokes. Someone said “socialist monopoly”. Drink led to drink. Joke led to joke. And the idea of SOCIALISM: The Game was born. The next day I called an attorney friend (and soon to be SOCIALISM business partner) and said, we’re going to need legal protection. We’re making this. Right now.

Tell us about your economic views. Full on Free Trade, internal Free Trade, or other? Feel free to talk about other sociopolitical aspects as well.

What’s fun about the Diogenes team is the diversity of our views. We are both Democrats and Republicans. Mostly middle and middle right in our politics and economics. Except one guy who is practically libertarian—he really likes to talk but we don’t really listen (kidding). But we are all very pragmatic in our politics. We agree that ideology is a poor substitute for competence and character in a candidate.

We all also agree that socialism is basically un-American. Thomas Jefferson was one of the more left leaning founders of our country. But his ideas of a strong, economically independent nation of land-owning farmers and tradesmen is nowhere to be found now. And we get it—for folks who don’t or can’t “feel the earn” they’re going to “feel the Bern”. They want what other people’s money can buy. But all the members of Diogenes are freelancers or built our own businesses. Socialism kills the entrepreneurial spirit, and maybe the human spirit, too.

SOCIALISM: The Game is a satire on socialist and leftist politics. And what better way to satirize it than to parody Hasbro’s Monopoly?! Socialism would be a game changer for America, the way SOCIALISM: The Game, an unofficial expansion on Hasbro’s Monopoly, transforms one of the greatest games ever. You play on the Monopoly board, with Monopoly money and buildings, but with socialist rules and events dictated by “Fat Chance” and “Communism Chest” cards. Like socialism in real life, it lives by infecting another system.

So capitalistic competition is out, and collective poverty is in. Instead of winning by having the biggest pile of cash, SOCIALISM: The Game, ends when the government owns practically everything and everyone has just 300 bucks or less. But there are a lot of laughs on the way—in SOCIALISM, there are no winners, but there are no losers! Everyone gets a participation award and we achieve equality in dependence (insert group hug here).

Do you anticipate anyone pledging at the 8 or 10k levels? Personally, I'd love to see that as well as your 1M stretch goal. Tell us about those, and the rest of the fun you're having with the campaign.

We are really excited about the $8,000 SuperPAC level. For $8,000 we will distribute 535 copies of SOCIALISM: The Game in Washington DC – one copy for every Senator and member of the US Congress. It will be so much fun to walk into Senator Sanders’ or Representative Pelosi’s office with their complementary game. I’m aware of several people considering it… including one member of Congress.

The $10,000 “Pancake Breakfast” backer level is presenting sponsorship for the “Philadelphia Special Edition” that is available to backers at the $20 level or higher. We chose Philadelphia because ironically, with the Democratic National Convention there this summer, the birthplace of America’s independence may become the birthplace of our dependence if the socialist agenda continues to displace more moderate liberal themes. And we’ll throw a pancake breakfast for you and your friends at your choice of the nation’s capital, or one of this summer’s convention cities—Cleveland or Philadelphia.

The Kickstarter stretch goal of $1,000,000 takes SOCIALISM on the road! We’ll deliver a copy of the game to every governor in America.

Do you have any plans for other unofficial expansions or full games at this time?

We have definitely talked about it, but the timeliness of SOCIALISM: The Game with this election requires our full attention this summer. The team loves to laugh, and we really enjoy working together. Another satirical parody is a very real possibility.

Feel free to rant here.

Laughter is so important right now, particularly with so much tension and bitterness in political discourse. We also need to show our children what all this is all about. And games like this are a great way to accomplish both goals.

SOCIALISM: The Game is serious, and it’s serious fun. It’s a great gift. And great fun with friends. Let’s get social, and as we always say “Please fund SOCIALISM today”!

First, I'd like to say it's nice to see that there are still Democrats and liberals(self-identified) that think Socialism is bad. I'd like to see the 8k level backed, just for the entertainment value. If you're so inclined to join the comedy, please help out.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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