A Marijuana Debate

There is a new board game called Stash. Set in lower Manhattan in the 1970s, each player is a drug dealer who competes to smuggle 28 drugs and sell them in more than 100 neighborhoods. They do this while dodging addiction, the police, the mob and the cruel Judge Maximus.

Does anyone think a game like this trivializes or glorifies drug use?

From Gareth, a parent

First let me ask that you don't take these as antagonistic remarks. But if you had kids (or if you do) and you saw them playing a game that put them in the shoes of a drug dealer/smuggler would you still maintain the same viewpoint?

I for one KNOW I don't have too much time on my hands. It's more like an ancient protective instinct kicks in now that I'm a father. I will not tolerate blatant stupidity in the face of my children's upbringing. And quite frankly I consider comments, such as those made by the game's designers, to be just that. Blatantly stupid. How can you not see what games like this one can do to a child's perceptions?

It's not quite the same as playing cops and robbers. They are actually getting very specific about how you go about being a "good" dealer or smuggler. Think about that. Now imagine your own 8-12 year old sitting down to a rousing game of this. Think about how it might feel if that same child came away completely elated that he or she had finally smuggled in all twenty kilos, dealt it all out to the street dealers, and managed to get around that mean (& no doubt evil) judge in the process. Would you still consider this a harmless way to "kill" an afternoon?

I am truly curious, and as I said, am not trying to be antagonistic here. But I do not consider myself to be frivolous in the way I look at things when it comes to how they may affect the lives of my kids. Or, for the matter, the lives of kids that mine may someday meet or be friends with. =8-O


© copyright, 1997, Gareth Bramley
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