Bloc by Bloc pits players against the authorities and aims to use a classic board game format to show the impact of gentrification and the power of protest
In Oakland’s commercial district, a diverse coalition of insurgents relieve shops of goods and light storefronts ablaze. Newly flush with fancy clothes, a group of workers evade marauding riot cops. Nearby, freed prisoners and neighboring citizens barricade the streets surrounding an occupied stadium. The military is expected to arrive in just a few days to decisively crush the rebellion.
This is one of the scenarios that plays out on the board of Bloc by Bloc, a cooperative tabletop strategy game that pits players against the authorities in a struggle to liberate the city. The “insurrection game”, as the creators, Rocket Lee and Tim Simons, bill it, is a not-for-profit project aimed, they say, at undermining imperialist themes in strategy games – and perhaps radicalizing unsuspecting players.