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Patriot Act Game Pokes Fun at Government 350

The Miami Herald is reporting that a new game based on Monopoly is taking a crack at Patriot Act and what creator Michael Kabbash describes as the curtailed freedom that has resulted. From the article: "The object of the game is not to amass the most money or real estate, but to be the last player to retain civil liberties. 'I've had people complain to me that when they play, nobody wins. They say "We're all in Guantanamo and nobody has any civil liberties left," he said. 'I'm like "Yeah, that's the point."'"
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Patriot Act Game Pokes Fun at Government

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  • by Evil Closet Monkey ( 761299 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @03:41PM (#14959077) Homepage
    Slashdot provides its own brand of humor as I attempt to load the story and receive the following error:

    Nothing to see here, move alone.

    (or something to the effect) But a quick reload showed that "The Man" did not in fact supress the story.

  • Priceless (Score:4, Funny)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Monday March 20, 2006 @03:43PM (#14959096)

    I'm downloading this right now...looking forward to playing it with the in-laws next Sunday.

    Here's one of the 'Homeland Security' cards:
    According to FOX News, your criticisms of the President during wartime make you "guilty of granting aid and comfort to our enemies";
    Roll the dice to see if you are GUILTY OF TREASON
    A roll of even = not guilty; a roll of odd = guilty - sentenced to GTMO

    Absolutely priceless.
    • by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @03:51PM (#14959165) Homepage Journal
      This post has been labeled sedicious... please report to your local terrorist detainment camp, and allow them to re-educate you to be a Proper Patriotic American.

      You commy filth piss me off... *gets a whisper from an aid in the ear* Oh... I mean, you TERRORIST filth piss me off...
    • by JamesonTheIrish ( 961868 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:13PM (#14959364)
      I'd like to see a card with: "You break your leg falling from the top of a Abu Ghraib-style ass pyramid. Pay $200 in doctor fees."
  • Download location (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20, 2006 @03:46PM (#14959125)
    The game can be downloaded here [].
  • by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:00PM (#14959241) Journal

    Looks like a diverting way to spend an evening. My question though: I've heard some talk of there being a MMRT/LA* version and I was wondering if anyone had any information on how to opt out?


    * Massively Multi -Player Real Time / Live Action

  • Mourning a genre (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:02PM (#14959253)
    The glory age of political games has long past, and hardcore fans of the genre such as myself have found ourselves lacking in new titles. You won't find successors to Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator [], Hidden Agenda [] and Shadow President [] made these days. In the past decade, we've seen only a tiny, tiny handful of games in this genre, one of which is the original Tropico - which if you install the expansion pack, is quite a fun game that lets you examine all kinds of political systems by implementing them yourself without restriction. If you have a Mac, Simbabwe [] is certainly worth your attention (and it's free!)
    "Welcome to Simbabwe, where the property is already owned and the houses built and you compete to burn and dispossess them. Bounce around the map plundering farms, denying grain silos to opposition supporters and robbing the community chest."
    Political sims are truly the best ways to combine entertainment and education, and I sincerely hope that some indie developers reading this looks over some of the older games I've linked to and is inspired to develop a cross-platform title, as there isn't much to choose from right now.
    • I love Tropico, but the only government you can implement is communism. All housing and factories are owned by the government. All medicine and education are socialized. You determine where everything is built and when it is torn down. You decide whether to hold elections or not, and whether or not to cheat in them. Your decision is only whether to implement a tyranical or benevolent form of communism. But I still absolutely love the game.
  • by CanSpice ( 300894 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:15PM (#14959385) Homepage
    ..."the only winning move is not to play" gets smacked.
  • by kingsmedley ( 796795 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:46PM (#14959628)
    This game sounds eerily similair to Police State, a game that was developed in the 1960's and inspired by life in the Soviet Union. The goal was a little different - you were trying to become the Soviet Premier (basically, the only person with any rights) while avoiding being denounced by others and sent to Siberia. The game board was even vaguely Monopoly-ish (in appearance, not in play).

    If you're curious, you can see the game here. []
    • I have a copy of a role-playing game called 'En Garde' which is sort of 'Three Musketeers' meets 'D-n-D'. One of the most powerful positions you could attain was Comissioner of Public Safety who could, with the appropriate die roll, denounce another player, have him/her banished and take all that players property. (At one point I was Chancellor of the Exchequer, but got caught embezzling from the treasury)
  • ...could someone PLEASE finally tell me what civil liberties are threatened by the PA?

    I've been hearing about this for five years or so now, but it's always this vague "oh no they're taking our civil liberties". No one ever actually states the real problem.

    When did it become so difficult to actually inform the people, rather than just spout the equivalent of sensationalist headlines? It's hard to be worried about the PA when I haven't been affected by it at all and no one who tells me I should worry can tel
    • by CompSci101 ( 706779 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:43PM (#14960078)

      Well, for instance, the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are pretty soundly trashed by the PATRIOT Act.

      The surveillance powers granted are in direct circumvention of the Fourth Amendment, whereby a judge must be asked for a warrant for law enforcement to conduct any action against a citizen. The argument against is that informing the "Terrorists" of what is going to be searched/siezed in advance (which is what the Constitution requires) is inexpedient. The problem being that, if you're not a terrorist, you're pretty much screwed and have no recourse because any warrants issued (if they were issued at all -- see the National Wiretapping problem) were issued in secrecy and to talk about them is a crime according to other sections of the PATRIOT Act.

      The Fifth Amendment is violated because the actions law enforcement takes deprive you of due process. You're not allowed to see the "evidence" against you until you've been exported to Egypt for "questioning" and returned.

      Basically: the whole reason the Fourth and Fifth Amendments exist -- to protect citizens against overreaching Executive law enforcement powers -- is trampled by the PATRIOT Act.

      Please see: The Bill of Rights []

      • Can someone point out how laws such as the PATRIOT Act are enacted and enforced when they clearly violate the Constitution?

        Article VI. states:

        "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land "

        The framers apparently understood that the purpose of government is to uphold the innate rights and freedoms of mankind. Hamilton said:

        • Shouldn't all this mean that legislation like the PATRIOT Act is null and void?

          Yeah, sure, but as long as the goverment has the law enforcement and weaponry to back itself up, there's not too much you can do about it. Who wants to go to jail for standing up for themselves? Or end up on a no-fly list? Since nobody can even talk about your being jailed, your cause sends out little if no message (boy doesn't this sound like part of the master plan?) Not too many on the whole. There have been huge demonstr

      • This is just the sort of response which I was complaining about. You speak so generally, I have no idea whether it is true or not. Either I should take you at your word that the PA tramples on the Bill of Rights, or not.

        I've sat down and read large sections of the act at various times since it was enacted; between the intense legalese and constant references to other laws, it's hard to make sense of most of it. I guess what I'm looking for is somewhere that can show me specifically what has changed with the
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...could someone PLEASE finally tell me what civil liberties are threatened by the PA?

      The rights to privacy and due process, for example, are directly threatened. The PA circumvents many of the traditional checks against government, especially in the so-called "sneak and peek" provisions. Politicians and pundits who support the PA frame it as if law enforcement already knows who's guilty and who's innocent, and the guilty clearly deserve no civil liberties. Skeptics believe (like the majority here on slash
      • Skeptics believe (like the majority here on slashdot) that the dangers posed by terrorism do not exceed the dangers posed by a corrupt government.

        Indeed many (most) of us think the damage a corrupt government can do to the country vastly exceed anything a "terrorist" could ever do.

        Never forget that fighting terrorists is easy while fighting a corrupt government is hard. If you speak out against a corrupt enough government, they merely need to -decide- to label you a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer to shu
    • Heres a few from the ACLU. (PDF waring!) vacy_checklist.pdf []
  • Does anyone know of an online monopoly game or even a good download with ai?
  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheNoxx ( 412624 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:41PM (#14960056) Homepage Journal
    You know, more games should (no, not kidding) have political leaning and teach people about the political situation of today, and the history of American meddlins in the middle east. Maybe, just maybe, people will become aware of what their tax dollars have done to their fellow man in impoverished countries, and just maybe, with enough people, a few small but key changes could come about.

    I always give a great deal of respect and support and love to people who try to keep an eye on the government, and even more when they have a sense of humour about it. The reality of the situation, for all citizens, is kinda like a parent trying to keep an eye on a really mischevious kid who likes to steal your stuff and money and beat up other kids, but instead of an unruly pubescent child, you have an army of secret agents and powermongers to try and keep from running amok.
    • "You know, more games should (no, not kidding) have political leaning and teach people about the political situation of today, and the history of American meddlins in the middle east."

      I.e., instead of games I should get pure propaganda.

      And not even that, but some nerd's unilateral lopsided own One True Way in which everyone should think. Forget about thinking for yourself, let Mr Game Designer tell you exactly what you should think about economics, politics, ecology, etc. Never mind that he isn't actually q
      • Being force-fed propaganda isn't a game, and isn't fun. Being preached at isn't fun.

        Right. I actually think the Master of Orion games are the best "political" games yet made. There's real political content in them --- they can be seen as a lesson in realist foreign policy --- but they don't shove it in your face and they're fun to play. Their "galactic future" setting allows them to stay metaphorical and avoid propagandizing about today's politics.

      • What I'm suggesting is far from propaganda, just as movies that have a political message or warning behind them are not propaganda, in the sense that they are fun to watch and reveal something we may not have thought of or known previously rather than spread fearful, hatemongering lies. There are, in fact, many games with political messages, whether overt or not, such as Deus Ex (remember that whole game being based on a terrorist attack on the US that turned the whole nation into one based on fear or terro
      • Yes I agree, well except for the part that you only care about what PHDers say.
        Just because you don't go to college doesn't mean you have no useful opinions.
        But then again I don't have a Ph.D. so my opinion must not be correct.

        In any case some political games could be fun.
        Some maybe not. Imagine playing Candyland with a dentist spin.
        It all depends on what you want.
        Of course I am biased on my opinion of our unread, by Congress that is, USAPATRIOT act.
        I also think it may not be fun to play all the time but it
  • REDACTED (Score:4, Funny)

    by Zenmonkeycat ( 749580 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @08:07PM (#14961011)
    You know, REDACTED had a chance to look over REDACTED, and it looks to be a pretty REDACTED REDACTED about the problems us REDACTEDs are facing with the increase in REDACTED's REDACTED, even as REDACTED's support wanes here in REDACTED. But REDACTED wouldn't worry, since REDACTED sure REDACTED will REDACTED before REDACTED's too REDACTED. Then again, REDACTED just a bleeding-REDACTED REDACTED, so what do REDACTED know about REDACTED?
  • by wedg ( 145806 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @08:44PM (#14961154) Homepage Journal
    When did Civil Rights become Civil Liberties?

    When they become Civil Priviledges, I'm running for the hills.
    • by deblau ( 68023 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @03:46AM (#14962392) Journal
      Civil liberties: Fundamental individual rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, protected by law against unwarranted governmental or other interference.

      Civil rights: The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

      In other words, civil liberties correspond to 'natural law' rights, or human rights -- rights you are born with. You have civil liberties in spite of the State. Civil rights are rights granted because of State involvement, like the right to vote.
  • by moxiejkk ( 955325 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @09:35PM (#14961339)
    While it seems like most of us slashdotters are in agreement of how the Patriot Act is dangerous and unconstitutional, it seems as if the majority of the American people support it. Their mentality seems to be this, "Well there's no reason for ME to worry". We need to change this viewpoint in order for change to occur. This game is a step in the right direction.
  • Nuance (Score:4, Informative)

    by xihr ( 556141 ) on Monday March 20, 2006 @09:41PM (#14961369) Homepage

    Well that's really clever. Next I'll be making the game Nuance, where if you're an individual or a labor union or an activist of any type, you automatically win, and if you're a corporation or the government or a capitalist then you automatically lose.

    At least games will be shorter than his droning crap.

  • Predictable. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DietCoke ( 139072 )
    Two things are very predictable here:

    1. This story has been out for a while, but /. is only now getting around to posting it.

    2. This story trashes the Patriot Act, thus it gets an automatic berth.

    Here's an idea: instead of making board games, why don't you vote out your Senators and Congressmen? While you were busy making funny little downloadable games, they re-authorized it.

    I'm not a fan of the Patriot Act myself, but for christ's sake - quit acting like little bitches and do something productive with
  • by NightHwk1 ( 172799 ) <jon@empt[ ] ['yfl' in gap]> on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:21PM (#14961537) Homepage
    Most of the cards read "You loose one civil liberty".
    Can't a professional designer learn to spell?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson