New Game

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Seacowboys, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Go directly to Guantanamo! It's Patriot Act board game
    By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer
    Published: Saturday, March 18, 2006
    Updated: Saturday, March 18, 2006

    HAMILTON, N.J. (AP) - In this send-up of the famous "Monopoly" board game, players don't go directly to jail; they go to Guantanamo Bay.

    They don't lose cash by landing on certain squares; instead they lose civil liberties. A scowling former Attorney General John Ashcroft dominates the center of the board, replacing the "Mr. Monopoly" character.

    Chance cards read like this: "Held For Extended Questioning! Either lose one civil liberty, or decide which player you turn in to authorities (they lose two civil liberties.)"

    Designed by a New Jersey graphic artist and Arab civil rights advocate, "Patriot Act: The Home Version" pokes fun at "the historic abuse of governmental powers" by the recently renewed anti-terrorism law.

    While the game may be fun, its creator, Michael Kabbash of Green Brook, is serious about how he feels the law has curtailed Americans' freedom. 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.' "

    The Patriot Act was passed by Congress in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, giving law enforcement a vast array of investigative and prosecutorial powers it previously had not enjoyed. Critics say it unacceptably impinged on civil liberties, granting investigators the right to examine people's library and medical records, among other things.

    But the government defends the law as a vital tool that has helped prevent another terror attack. When the bill was renewed earlier this month, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said, "The 89-to-10 bipartisan vote illustrates an understanding that the Patriot Act has kept us safer while protecting the civil liberties we cherish."

    U.S. Justice Department public affairs did not immediately return Associated Press calls for comment Saturday on Kabbash's game.

    Ashcroft - in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday for a conference - declined comment, but laughed when told that players go to Guantanamo instead of jail.

    Kabbash decided to keep Ashcroft, who stepped down in January 2005, as the visual focus of the game because "he really is the icon that people associate with the Patriot Act."

    In a nod to President Bush's prewar comments, the "Go" space in this game is renamed "Bring It On!" Players roll the dice to determine how many civil liberties they start out with, accumulating them from a variety of categories. U.S. citizens get 5; non-citizens get 1. Whites and Asians get 5; Arabs get 1. Christians get 5 or 6 and Jews get 4; Muslims get 2 or 3. Ultra right-wingers get 6; Democrats get 3 or 4.

    Instead of landing on, say Oriental Avenue, a player lands on a color-coded space corresponding to the national terror alert. If he lands on a red space, he loses one civil liberty, as does anyone else within 5 spaces of him. If he lands on an orange space, he selects another player to lose one civil liberty.

    The jail has been replaced by Guantanamo Bay - an automatic loss of three civil liberties. You can only get out by rolling a 1. Any player who lands on the Guantanamo space due to a roll of the dice is considered a visitor, but must not speak to or even acknowledge any other player being held in detention, or else they have to move backward to the nearest FBI office.

    Chance cards have now become "Homeland Security Cards." They include "FBI wants you for questioning; Lose one turn," "You provide the local authorities with speculative information on your next door neighbor; Collect one civil liberty from each player," and "The ACLU takes your case; Gain back one civil liberty!"

    Kabbash is distributing the game free over the Internet, with the game board and playing cards all printable. So far, more than 2,000 copies of the game have been downloaded since it debuted in 2004.

    Aside from possible copyright problems with the company that owns the rights to Monopoly, Kabbash didn't want to sell copies of his parody because he wanted it to be as widely available as possible. Plus, he said, people might suspect his motives if he were profiting from it.

    He had seven physical copies of the game produced, which cost about $135 each with the die-cast metal playing pieces such as a jetliner, a dollar sign and an oversized cowboy hat.

    "I wanted it to be not only a parody but a teaching tool," said Kabbash, 38, who teaches graphics at The College of New Jersey. "This is my way of putting my political ideas forward, hoping people will wake up. There's a lot of apathy, and we have to realize that we're in a democracy, that we're all allowed to say something."

    Kabbash is a Christian whose grandparents came to the U.S. from Syria. He was born and raised in Clifton, His wife, Maha, is an attorney and activist with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

    He has also produced parodies of popular cereal boxes, including "Conservative Crunch," a takeoff on Cap'n Crunch with President Bush in the captain's trademark blue suit and hat, holding the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court buildings in the palm of his hand. "Now controlling ALL 3 BRANCHES of government!" the box boasts, along with nutritional information listing "51 percent mandate."

    Kabbash says his next project will probably have something to do with the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program. Kabbash is reasonably certain "there's a file on me somewhere," and notes that some of the Internet ISP addresses that have logged on to his site have been registered to government and military users.

    When asked if the FBI keeps a file on Kabbash, a bureau spokesman declined comment.
  2. Infidel

    Infidel Guest

  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Cool idea and sadly accurate.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

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