As for the general premise, Hugh Fitzgerald thought of it first. But now you can play at home, too:
“Game leaves nothing to chance for cute extremists,” by Nury Vittachi for The Standard, October 14:
Been harassed by hardline religious police? Been arrested for holding hands with your own spouse? I have. Now our children can share these exciting experiences with a board game inspired by Sharia law.
Just take home a copy of Good Game, a genuine board game introduced to me by reader Isman Suryaman from Indonesia. After a few rounds, your kids will be cute little Asian extremists.
Open the box and you’ll find a board and counters, just like Monopoly. But instead of landing on squares named after properties, children land on circles representing good deeds or bad ones.
The language of the game is Bahasa Indonesian, so you may first land on olahraga (“sport”) and win 10 points. But it’s even better if you land on menjaga kebersihan (“cleanliness”) and net 20 points. Smart children quickly learn to avoid sport and take long baths to amass points faster.
As the kids go around the board, there are certain spaces which tell them to pick up cards from the middle, like the “Chance” cards in Monopoly.
If any child picks up a card which says Kafir! (“Heathen!”) they immediately lose their faith and go straight to hell, without having to die first. The last player in the game wins, so the heathen cards encourage children to pray that friends and family members go to hell soon.
But watch out, kids: there are some other very bad cards in the Chance pile. The worst is membunuh orang (“You murder some guy”). Kill a man and you get a score of minus 1,000. That significantly lowers your place on the scoreboard.
But the next card one of the kids picks up has a picture of a boy and girl sitting shyly next to each other on a bench with pink love hearts hovering over them. This looks like a positive card, but it isn’t – oh no-no-no-no-no. The game makers reckon pecaran (“courting”) is an extremely grave sin. At minus 500 points per occasion, this card teaches children that experiencing two momentary crushes is equivalent to committing one murder.
But keep going and they may get a menikah card, which means “marriage.” This card also shows a boy and girl sitting next to each other on a bench, but without any love hearts. This teaches children that it is crucial that they do not love the person they marry.
They get 250 points for each marriage, so boys soon learn that if they wed people they don’t love four times, they can kill someone with no penalty.
I like this game. It is refreshingly different from other board games, and I think I can honestly say espouses a unique set of values.
Okay, so it has a really naff name – I mean, “Good Game,” what were they thinking? But it is a nice change from Monopoly. Play that and you spend all your time trying to be a nasty landlord who bankrupts everyone else. What kind of values does that teach?
No, it’s better to give growing, impressionable boys some important life lessons. Stay in the bath, avoid love, have a succession of women and then kill people who are mean to you.
You know it makes sense.
Pictures of the game can be seen at www.vittachi.com