Sometimes, board games have cool miniatures and artistically admirable player pieces. Other times, they have patently sexist, exploitative and offensive miniatures. Sadly, this week has supplied an exemplar in the latter category. Kingdom Death, a horror-themed board game for 1–6 players and currently in development, just finished its Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter. The full game, available to backers of the campaign at $100 or more, contains a generous number of pieces. As the campaigns steadily racked up more backers, upgrades to the base game were unlocked via stretch goals. Creator Adam Poots had set the funding goal at for $35,000. He ended up raising $2,049,721 from 5,410 backers. While it's important to remember that both Kickstarter and Amazon take a percentage of a Kickstarter campaign's money in processing fees, it's equally important to point out that 5,410 people are really, really excited about this game.
The two things I hear my friends with kids express as concerns about games, regardless of what age group they're for, is about gendering and appropriateness. They want stuff that isn't a binary of women in bikinis and men as barbarians.
Unfortunately there are a significant number of boardgames themed around European colonialism, and they really rub me the wrong way. The legacy of colonialism still underpins social inequalities in North America and around the world, so I want to take a closer look at the games I play that deal with this theme.