Games are designed to be fair, to give players an equal chance of winning. Conversely, society grants privileges and advantages to some while excluding and disempowering others. While both games and society are competitive, society is sometimes more competitive than we may like it to be.
In this Spring 2014 course, a group of Urban Scholars explore and analyze society, its systems, and the inequities and imbalances of power that dictate “how the world works.” Using metaphor, analogy and symbolism, students experiment with ways to alter the rules of various types of games (card games, board games and sports), to either reflect their observations about social inequality and injustice, or to transform them into a more cooperative game that reflects their vision for a more cooperative society.
Of the series of “rigged” game concepts developed during the semester, the Urban Scholars chose to create a finished prototype for the environmental justice card game Hearts to Headlines.