Terrorism board game dicey, victims say
The war on terror can now be fought in the comfort of your living room — thanks to a controversial board game that lets players dominate the world using nuclear weapons, hijacked airplanes, suicide bomb belts and a pair of dice.
War On Terror: The Board Gameis the creation of two entrepreneurs from Cambridge, England, who have sold more than 2,500 copies worldwide through their online company TerrorBull Games.
The game, launched in October 2006,has been banned from British department stores and condemned by some British media outlets.
Terrorism victimsin Canada aren't pleased either.
"The first thing you can say is that it is in very poor taste," said Bal Gupta of Mississauga, Ont., who lost his wife in the Air India bombing.
"They are probably insensitive," he added, commenting on the game's creators. "(It's been done) to make a buck."
Andrew Sheerin and Andy Tompkinstold CBC Newsthey created the game to satire the War on Terror and show how ridiculous it is.
They got the idea three years ago while having a few beers and watching news about the War in Iraq unfold on television. The two men say they were astonished to hear U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair talking freely about weapons of mass destruction.
"It's great material for a board game," Sheerinsaid. "There's lying in there, double-crossing, geo-politics and world domination."
The game, billed as a family game for 2-6 players, lets players be either terrorists or the establishment, known as the Empire. Players roll the dice and move pieces across a map of the world.
The gamehas a deck of cards depicting cartoon images of nuclear weapons andairplane hijackings. One shows a middle-aged Caucasian suicide bomber wearing a raincoat and a belt of bombs.
The game sells for $60 Cdn, plus shipping fees. It's an English-language game, but Sheerin and Tompkins are working out a deal to sell a Spanish version.
One Canadian thinks there could be some merit to the game.
"I'm not going to go against it," said Kalian Harplawny, whose wife and two daughters died when Air India Flight 182 blew up mid-air in 1985, killing 329 people.
"Definitely not everything has gone right in the war on terror, so it could really teach people what's happening these days."
Sheerin said critics accuse his game of being in bad taste, when it was the invasion of Iraq that was in bad taste.
"We'd be happy if they just called it off," he said. "But it doesn't look like they're going to."