Kickstarting Block by Bloc: a game about radical insurrection

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Ah, excellent! This is another “game” I can back to get my name moved closer to the top of “the list.”



You guys covered another board game Kickstarter (A Las Barricadas) with an identical premise a few years ago. I am no longer convinced that anarchists are capable of delivering a board game, leave alone meaningful social change.


If they’re going for a degree of realism, does it have an aspect where the cops leave out a decommissioned police cruiser as arson bait so that these showboating morons can help the media discredit the entire protest? How about a mandatory “your group has been infiltrated by a police agent provocateur” phase?


OMG conspiracies are real! sheeple have no power any signs of actual resistance is illuminati tricks to make freedom look mean! real freedom is not rude and always says please and thank you


See. this is what I expected when they occupied Wall Street. When does the real occupation begin?

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I’m fine with rude. I’m just asking for smart enough not to fall for the same stupid trick over and over.

How do you get a job working for COINTELPRO?

When people identify their own disenfranchisement as being necessary for survival in a given political climate, you don’t need COINTELPRO anymore. You’re soaking in it! Then everybody works for COINTELPRO, and they do it for free. Or, more accurately, they pay for it themselves with the blood of themselves, their family, and their allies. The science of getting oppressed people to police themselves and turn on their own is a hell of a drug.


There’s a fun little video game in the same theme:

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I believe in positive protest. Wish there was a game that played out a block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood revolution through community gardens, worker-owned businesses and cooperatives, Gandhian economics through the adaptation of his Constructive Programme to today’s mega-cities, and the replacement of the existing economy and politics by actual self-government from the grassroots on up.

Many of the positive protest scenaria can be found in Grace Lee Boggs’ The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century and other recent books, articles, and actions. If any gamemakers are interested in such an idea, I will be happy to provide the information resources I have.


Community gardens are not valued by the authorities. They come under siege the moment developers want them gone, and resisting this is not what you would consider “positive protest”. And the struggle for unionization and worker control over workplaces has very often required clashes with police, who love to attack and arrest strikers.

Your vision for grassroots, bottom-up revolution starting with one’s own block is really good, and looks like a significant part of this game. But it’s naive to imagine that this kind of revolution can disrupt and transform society without conflict with the authorities.


Describing this as “positive” also creates its own opposition, because you define it as a polarity. As some posit realities, others strive to negate them. Which, if either, might be more or less beneficial is largely a matter of perspective.

That said, I do value the sort of work you outline. But you seem to put it out there as a contrast to “radical insurrection” without explaining how or if it might essentially differ.


I have not read much Foucault, but it seems to me that he perceived accurately much of what occurs. The caption on your pic above is not literally true, but is perhaps ironic, as I think the goals of hierarchies and hegemonies is to get the populace at large to internalize this point. Whereas the reality is - as is so often the case with double-speak - nearly the complete opposite.

Economics and governance alike often rely upon rationalizing the subjective as a pretext for implementing their various schema. Power is quite value-neutral, the trick is what it is used to rationalize into a semblance of objectivity, as well as the values and goals underlying this process. Whether or not a given process or structure embodies “power” depends upon one’s goals. Which is more powerful - a hammer or a toothbrush? It all depends upon what one is trying to do. No doubt, purveyors of hammers or toothbrushes might be biased. It works much like the concept of “efficiency”, which sounds very technocratic and inscrutable, but still likewise relies upon converting a subjective goal into objective metrics.

This feeds back into the (necessarily) unexamined presumptions of differing personal, group, or societal goals. The illusion of power-over-others implies that goals are subordinated to some hegemony. So this is where people are pressured into giving up their subjectivities in favor of somebody else’s. But them not being your subjectivities in no way renders them as having any essentially objective character. This is where the violence of totalitarianism occurs, the infinite regress of hoping for mere survival, as a lowest-common denominator of social incentive. Just like the “terrorism” of non-state actors, it is popular because it is so effective. At least once any more effective social conditioning has been gradually stripped away through indoctrination, shock tactics, etc. It only works so long as people fear for their lives, rather than aspire to living meaningfully. Giving primacy not to how long they live, but how they choose to live what life they have.


Sounds like it’d take only a little bit of re-skinning to make it a zombie apocalypse game which would move about a million more copies.

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Did it not deliver?

Has this ever worked?

Holy shit, new identity/meme/logo?

I like how the people in the demo are wearing brand-new expensive clothing as they play at revolution. That tells you who the target audience really is.