Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Shall we play a game?

I have long been a player of computer games, from my first Atari 2600—a video game console so stylish it featured wood paneling—to getting whipped regularly by my son on the PlayStation 4. But being on the go quite often, and being a slave to my mobile devices, I like to have a good set of games to play when I have a free moment. So you can imagine my interest when I caught wind of a new game called Kleptocrat: How to Hide Dirty Money. The game is available for free download for iOS on the Apple App Store.

The idea is that you are the ruler of a country with no intent to rule legitimately or sustainably. Your aim is to abuse your power while you can to line your pockets. You win the game if you can steal enough money, hide it from investigators, and convert it to goodies for yourself, like a watch worth several times your yearly salary, or an armored sports car. You lose the game if investigators bust your money laundering efforts five times, after which your rule collapses and presumably, you get chucked in jail.

The game is a kind of card game in which you turn over certain cards to build your money-laundering network. Some cards enable you to harvest money by either skimming from the treasury or abusing your power to force kickbacks to yourself. Some cards are ways to hide your money offshore or through a network of trusted conspirators. Other cards allow you to move your money around to shell companies dummy bank accounts, or elsewhere. Every turn, you are either gathering more money or moving it around while the Investigator, depicted by an ominous floating magnifying glass, randomly wanders around the board. Any card the Investigator visits, if there is dirty money there, the Investigator will find it unless there you have set up some kind of defense to hide it. Sometimes the Investigator finds what its looking for, some times it doesn’t, and you breathe a sigh of relief as you continue plundering the nation.  (more...)


Please, please give us a Venetian edition!

No comments:

Post a Comment