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Who's in the Game? Identity and Intersectionality in Classic Board GamesClick to magnify
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Who's in the Game? Identity and Intersectionality in Classic Board Games


Some board games—like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Clue, Guess Who, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Operation and Payday—have popularity spanning generations. But over time, updates to games have created significantly different messages about personal identity and evolving social values. Games offer representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability and social class that reflect the status quo and respond to social change.

Using popular mass-market games, this rhetorical assessment explores board design, game implements (tokens, markers, 3-D elements) and playing instructions. This book argues the existence of board games as markers of an ever-changing sociocultural framework, exploring the nature of play and how games embody and extend societal themes and values.

This digital edition includes the EPUB and PDF versions of the book.

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Customer avatar
Patrick B December 03, 2020 3:24 pm UTC
What in the world can you possibly gain by dissecting and picking apart classic family fun boardgames like Candy Land? It's like telling a child that Santa Claus isn't real. What good can come of it?
Customer avatar
Ron D December 10, 2020 5:04 pm UTC
Santa Claus is not real.
I'd argue that the entire Santa Clause / Saint Nicolas charade is a valuable tool in teaching kids not to trust everything that they see, because people will tell lies if it suits them.
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Adam W October 15, 2021 7:47 pm UTC
If you've ever seen more than one release of The Game of Life, you'll see their differences are striking. The game literally evolves over the decades along with society. I wish I'd thought of this book idea first. It seems obvious in retrospect. By the way, Chutes & Ladders is itself an altered game - it's based on a traditional game called Snakes & Ladders. That alone should tell you something further. I'm actually really curious to see how Candy Land fits in, to be frank.
Customer avatar
Adam W October 15, 2021 8:29 pm UTC
Okay, so I bought the book and I am BEYOND impressed with it so far. As for Candy Land, it turns out that it was originally created in response to polio, with the goal being "Home, Sweet Home" (getting out of the hospital) rather than some mythical candy castle. The game changed when polio was eradicated! THERE's the good that can come of it. Also, there's "XXXopoly 69" on the last page of the index and it's not a throwaway joke (sexuality in games actually IS covered on that page, a masterstroke if you ask me), so yeah, there's a LOT of content in here covering a wide variety of topics in its over 200 pages. The asking price was a lot, but I think I'll find it was worth it.
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Product Information
File Size:
6.49 MB
Original electronic Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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Original electronic format
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File Last Updated:
December 01, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on December 01, 2020.
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