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10 Jul 2006

The War on Terror is Over!

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We bloody did it. We've actually finished.

To think it was back in March 2003 when we first decided – initially as a private joke - to make a board game about the so-called 'war on terror'. This decision was born out of both frustration and anger. We'd been on the marches, we'd written to our MP and nothing made any difference. As we sat watching the TV on the eve of an unstoppable war, we started talking about how it all felt like a giant game: one-time allies were now enemies; old enemies, now friends. It was all about short-term strategic gain, rather than any enduring moral code – and yet we saw how the moral narrative was essential for everyone to go along with the game. It was almost as if everyone in the world had agreed to a set of unwritten rules and to question those felt as perverse as to question having to pay rent when you land on someone else's square in Monopoly; this is just the way the game works.

So we started fleshing out a strategic, war game with a difference. Firstly, we made it ridiculous. The cruel absurdity of the real war on terror became darkly comic in our game. Terrorists became one, amorphous all-threatening force; the Axis of Evil became a spinner in the middle of the board, oil became the central currency and the number one reason to (or not to) 'liberate' a country, then there's the balaclava that comes in the box with the word “EVIL” stitched in large, red letters on the forehead ... Before we knew it, that private joke had mutated into an indepth game that was both silly, yet deathly serious

I've got to say, we were doubtful this day would come, but today - over three years on from that drunken evening when the idea was born - we finally sent everything off to print.

So we got funding, we made Tom draw more pictures than we could handle, we finished the designs, we spent days on end staring at the computer, cleaning up hundreds of files, pixel by pixel and we read and re-read every line of text about 100 times. And now it's out of our hands...

Over three years on, we've finally sent everything off to print.For those who still don't believe it's actually real, here are some pictures of proofs we printed out today. And if that's not enough, to whet you're appetite, check out the huuuuuge jpeg of the front of the box. Doesn't really do it justice, but you'll have to take our word for it - this little beauty wouldn't look out of place on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Best foot forward! The Long War has just begun ...


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