Ecocentric

Greenpeace’s New Board Game

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Looking for the perfect gift for your radical, left-wing activist nephew? Greenpeace has just the product for you: a free downloadable board game called “Deepsea Desperation” that pits oil industry versus Greenpeace for control over deapsea oil reserves.
According to the Greenpeace website, the game is for two players, or teams of players:

The game is all about Greenpeace’s campaign against Big Oil, with one player struggling to establish marine reserves in the very territory the other player wants to exploit. Through a mix of strategic lobbying, oil exploration, direct action and reserve creation, one of you will triumph. But beware: If you choose to take on the role of the oil industry and cause too many blowouts, you’ll have to face the prospect of marine disaster, a mock twitter account handling your PR, pictures of dead animals in the world’s media, and billions in damages to pay. And if a species falls extinct, you both lose.

I’ve always loved Greenpeace for its knowledge,  independent research and reasoned contribution to the environmental debate. Earlier this year the organization hosted Ecocentric’s Bryan Walsh for a scientific mission near the Florida Keys, and left Bryan inspired by what it meant to be “truly green.” But while admiring much of their work, I’ve also felt uneasy about some of Greenpeace’s direct action campaigns. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this year, Greenpeace called for a ban on new offshore drilling and the establishment of marine reserves across 40% of the world’s oceans. That seems exactly what a green group should do. But the organization also occupied an exploratory drilling rig off the coast of Greenland and sent swimmers to block a drilling ship off the coast of the Shetland Islands. It’s as if the organization has two faces–the earnest lobbyists and researchers, and the angry, disruptive activists in the Greenpeace dinghies.
So I don’t quite know what to make of Deepsea Desperation—a game designed by Terror Bull Games, a company best known for a “War on Terror” board game that was recently confiscated by British police at an environmental protest over claims a balaclava in the set could be used in a criminal act.  Maybe the company’s newest creation will help keep your activist nephew legally occupied in the living room—and committed to legislative, democratic change—rather than illegally harassing companies.

You can download a of the Deepsea Desperation game here.

(Click here to see TIME’s Top Ten Gratioutously Provocative Protest Acts)

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