For our gaming assignment, our group was given the game, “Bomberman”. The issue that we chose covered the topic of power and democracy, and focuses on the scenario that the government has passed a law that makes protest illegal. We thought this could flow naturally within the game, given the fact that bombs can easily represent violence and police/rebellion conflict within a city environment. We wanted to illustrate the importance of freedom of protest and speech, and justice for the oppressed.
The player controls the “monsters” who represent the protestors within a totalitarian regime. The “Bomberman” then becomes a representation of the police who are trying to bomb the protestors into submission. The goal of the game as a protestor is to attempt to make the police bomb their own institutions, comprising of a bank (moneybag icon), a police station (police car), and a courthouse (door icon). Destroying these icons represents protestors changing systems of government by destroying the current hegemonic structure.
Level one starts out with one of each of these institutions (total of three). The police follow the player around in a constant attempt to bomb them and end their rebellion, so the player must evade the police while also tricking them into placing a bomb near enough to one of their institutions that it will be destroyed. The player moves onto the next level when she or he is successful in destroying all institutions. Each level rises in difficulty with an exponential increase both in institutions and police the further the player gets into the game. The player will lose the game if she or he fails to evade a bomb and gets blown up.
Our group decided to make the game infinite, with each level adding in difficulty until the player gets tired or loses. We did this because we wanted to address the difficulty in changing societal institutions and systems of government; the harder one fights, the more one realizes how hopeless that fight feels against the power of a hegemonic society. Our goal was to create that sense of frustration by making it so the player could never truly “win”.
This game could be both single player and multiplayer. Multiplayer mode has the same rules, and would only add more “protestors” working together to help the cause of overthrowing corrupt systems of power.