Dispatches

New Normal Board Games

Véronique Darwin

The snakes are catastrophic weather events and the ladders, far-reaching promises from politicians. Best if these don’t intersect. The board might look a little doomy gloomy, so use whimsical tokens with expendable lives.

the climate crisis” filter. “Pay Day” might take on a different meaning each time you play. “What money?” some may say. “We can make money?” you might realize. Players move at their own pace and in their own direction. The spinner, rather than counting your steps forward, indicates air quality.

Boardwalk is now the least expensive property. Consider alternatives to steam-powered locomotives. When you pass Go! don’t take $2. Rather, defund the police, and pay into a mutual-aid fund that is our only chance at continuing to do money, or anything. Rather than properties, invest in the future.

Learn to read statistics! Sink each other’s climate-change data by landing points on the hockey stick graph. It doesn’t really matter what the graphs are about as we are all doomed.

Nine rooms on the world map projection: major corporations causing climate change with weapons of the apocalypse. Whodunit? What did they do? Conspiracies will no doubt abound, but remember Occam is in the lounge, not the library, and he’s holding a bunch of money (and a razor).

There will be no more agriculture, but this is still a great tool to learn how to do more with less. Lose a few pieces each time you play. Collect the meeple and sheeple figurines. Consider why baking bread has become so important in our new society.

The pawns are us. The knights are the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The other pieces are the elite: monarchs, religious leaders, commanders of the military industrial complex. Your goal is to save the pawns. And maybe the horses.

-style catalogue to learn real operations. Provided is a lifelike doll players can learn to sew back together. This game will be useful when you forget your first aid.

Each colour is a different virus. We all know how viruses work now. The goal is to stand on one coloured circle and not touch anyone. Wear a mask. To get more realistic, use a Sharpie to draw in the spike proteins. If you get bored, merge this game with Prepper Operation and practise inoculating each other.

Each block has a question about how players personally affect climate change: Are you willing…? Have you considered…? Do you even…? If you knock over the tower you can spend a few minutes rebuilding it and you don’t have to say anything.

Remove the borders and colours. Let’s work together to attack Mars, which is in a different room, on a different board. Whoever goes to Mars doesn’t come back.

Create portmanteaus and compound words that best represent the hybrid crises of our time. Opponents get points if they understand what you’re talking about, but who needs a common language anymore? Instead of joining words together, just put them anywhere around the room, or preferably on the internet.

Rube-Goldberg your living quarters using simple machines and renewable energy. No sun? Not enough wind? Move underground, where geothermal energy abounds. Or just hide the cheese somewhere and then try to find it.

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Véronique Darwin

Véronique Darwin’s stories have appeared in Geist and other publications. She lives in Toronto and is working on a novel and a screenplay.

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