Monday, February 02, 2004

Playing Games with the Law

Today's paper profiled a recently developed Patriot Act Game, which is intended to help people undertand the consequences of the law. A few details:

The object of the game? Get every player to Freedom Corner before the homeland security threat level reaches "severe" and the player holding the "snitch" card turns everyone in to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The brightly colored game is a takeoff on Monopoly -- but instead of "No Visitors Allowed" on the Jail square, it's "No Lawyers or Visitors Allowed." Instead of play money, there are "freedom fries." Players who have game tokens that are colored red, white and blue are at a greater advantage than those with tokens colored black, brown or yellow. "Community Chest" and "Chance" cards have been replaced by cards named "Justice," "Surveillance," "Protest" and "History."

Elizabeth Male, a law student and member of the Federalist society, found the game to be "not particularly fair and balanced." (Can anyone actually use that expression with a straight face?)

"The reality is, we didn't have blond-haired, blue-eyed Swedes flying planes into buildings on Sept. 11th," said Male. "As much as we would like to not racially profile people, the facts are what they are.

Hmmm... Driving rental trucks full of ANFO into a building, however, is something completely different, I guess.