This month on the Space-Cast!, we’re investigating a difficult topic — the representation of slavery in board games. To help navigate these waters, we’re joined by Patrick Rael, Professor of History at Bowdoin College, to discuss how board games have depicted slavery in the past, what they’re doing right now, and how we can use them to learn about sensitive historical issues.
Phil Eklund’s Pax Series has always sparked controversy, although never to the extremes of Pax Emancipation. Its mere announcement prompted concerns ranging from the assumption that it would defend the practice of slavery (it doesn’t) to wondering if Phil’s libertarian worldview would color the game’s approach to history (duh). The game itself was almost secondary.
In person, there’s nothing secondary about it. Pax Emancipation stomps into the room with all the bashfulness of a rhinoceros, demands everybody’s attention, and proudly proclaims its views on a whole range of topics. And then, like an actual rhinoceros, it makes a big steaming mess on your carpet.