Spanish board games about politicians’ corruption

This video says about itself:

10 July 2013

On the streets of Madrid there has been a clear message to Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “Go to jail,” chanted hundreds of protesters in the wake of fresh allegations of corruption in the ruling People’s Party.

Spain’s second largest daily newspaper El Mundo which has played a key role in uncovering other scandals has published what it says are original documents showing payments from an illicit slush fund operated by the PP.

“We are in an unsustainable situation, at our limit. We are being ruled by a delinquent government, supported by criminal structure which is the party and consequently we are in a corrupt system that cannot take it anymore,” said one of the protesters.

Another added, “We have over six million out of work, we have a massive brain drain, we have an excess of qualified people at universities who must emigrate and we can’t take that anymore.”

The documents published in El Mundo show the name of Mariano Rajoy and two payments of 12,600 euros. El Mundo has handed them over to the High Court.

The ledger was reportedly operated by former party treasurer Luis Barcenas He is being held in custody in a separate corruption case accused of tax fraud and receiving illegal payments.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Power, corruption and lies inspire board games with a point in Spain

D€mocracy and Corruptopolis invite players to grasp for power or become the most corrupt, reflecting real-life scandals

Ashifa Kassam in Madrid

Wednesday 31 December 2014 19.10 GMT

At dining tables or on TV talkshows, conversation in Spain today is dominated by the growing popularity of the leftwing political party Podemos or the 1,500 corruption investigations unfolding across the country.

Now these animated discussions are being turned into fodder for an unexpected pastime – board games. The objective for players in D€mocracy is simple: to gain and stay in power for as long as possible. To that end, anything goes – from leaking documents that slander your opponents to shuffling inquisitive judges off politically sensitive cases to buying a media company to control the campaign coverage.

“We wanted to show how politics works in our country,” said Carlos Martín Guevara, a 34-year-old geneticist.

After repeated heated conversations about the investigation into a secret slush fund that allegedly benefited the governing People’s party, he said: “We decided we have to make a board game out of this because it seems more like a game than anything else.”

A successful crowdfunding campaign meant it went into production in 2014.

The resulting game plays like a scathing critique of the state of Spain’s democracy 39 years after the death of the dictator General Francisco Franco. “We still have confidence in the democratic system,” said Martín Guevara. “We’re just not in agreement with how some politicians apply democracy.”

The game highlights the choices politicians make, with players forced to choose whether they want full transparency in their campaign finances or prefer to use undeclared donations from companies, as was alleged in the autumn when 51 people were arrested across the country. To prop up sagging popularity rates, players can start rumours about their opponents or launch a campaign to host the Olympics.

The goal of another board game, Corruptopolis, on the other hand, is to draw attention to the scandals that have engulfed politicians of the left and right as well as businesses, trades unions and football clubs. As she watched the spreading corruption accusations, Marina Belda, a 22-year-old industrial design student, worried it was becoming easy to tune out the many scandalous headlines. “I wanted to take the situation and make a statement out of it.”

Players are invited to take on the role of those involved in some of the most notorious scandals. Their goal is to become the most corrupt, a feat achieved by reaching the fictional city of Villa Corrupta. To progress, players have to answer questions about high-profile scandals, such as which socialist parliamentarian opened a bank account in Switzerland in 1998? Or which member of the royal family, entangled in an investigation for money laundering and tax fraud, repeatedly used the replies “I’m not aware,” “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know” to a judge’s questions? “If you’re playing a game, you get a little more angry. I wanted people to get angry but in a different way,” said Belda.

With her game due to go into production soon, her biggest headache is keeping up with the headlines. In the five months since she finished the prototype, four more cases of corruption had come to the light, she said.

Belda now keeps a folder of news clippings on corruption, in anticipation of updates to the game. The team behind D€mocracy said they’ve learned to do the same. As Guevara said: “Our politicians never stop surprising us.”

This Spanish video is on the Corruptopolis game.

6 thoughts on “Spanish board games about politicians’ corruption

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  6. Pingback: Big anti-corruption protest in Madrid, Spain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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