The Ungovernable Stonewall Uprising
This past August, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to the assembled faculty of Brigham Young University to call for both the building and the defense of that institution. His twin metaphors were a trowel and a musket; the topic, same-sex marriage. There’s been much hubbub over what he “really meant.” Such a discussion will always be academic, inherently disconnected from how his words were actually received by their countless recipients. Within hours of that talk, I sat by the bedside of a fourteen-year-old girl. She hid her freshly scarred forearms from view. She asked me why God hated her. Why God had made her this way if only to hate her. Why that kindly apostle hated her. Why she hated herself.
Hate is not an easy topic for a board game. Nor, really, is love. With Stonewall Uprising, designer Taylor Shuss takes a chance by asking his players to embody both of them. One player becomes Pride, determined to carve out equal rights in a land that has always promised big and fallen short. The second player becomes The Man. The Man is there to hate. To hate and to take and to demoralize. It’s exhausting to play as The Man. Exhausting but essential.