Is this appropriate freedom of speech? I say it is, but I also have the most dire reservations as to its content.

Yes, lampoons and other forms of satiric protrayal must be protected, it’s just that this seems to go well against the (younger) public’s best interest. I always resist the censorship of art and will probably do so in this case as well but still maintain strong doubts as to the socially redeeming value of this “game.”

Well, being a non American I’m not entitled to speak with any great degree of authority, but I’ll say this…

I read the article and it would seem that the boardgame manages to employ every possible negative stereotype regarding African Americans imaginable.

What makes me sad about such a thing is that African Americans are presented to the rest of the world in such a cliche manner nowadays. Rarely do I see a positive image - always the overtone of the East LA Gangsta rapper is what comes through.

It’s sad you know? The actor Will Smith said it best when he was doing publicity interviews after making the film “Ali”. He was in Africa and all he kept seeing were graffiti images which mimicked the gangsta rap scene amongst African Americans back home. And he felt sad about that. He felt sad that African American’s are portrayed around the world in this cliche manner and that rarely is a noble image sent out.

Well… I doubt that there is an absolute measure of what freedom of speech is, which makes your question rather difficult. I guess you could argue that it’s “pushing the envelope” of what’s socially acceptable or what have you, but I certainly wouldn’t. It’s vaguely funny in a juvenile kind of way, but I don’t feel that a game portraying stereotypes is going to lead to the downfall of civilization. I mean… if we’re going to get righteously indignant about a video game, let’s go attack Manhunt. I feel that, in the light of games like Manhunt, Ghettopoly is a (relatively) harmless diversion.

That said, I question the socially redeeming value of most games. I always felt that games were primarily recreational in nature, and of limited societal value at best. While there are a lot of games that have elements of society, I feel they lack enough that a game should be outrageous before we become outraged at what it does or doesn’t do.

There’s nothing wrong with that game. Seems pretty funny to me. Do black people have a problem with it, because a person of Asian decent is behind it ?

The ghetto culture is glorified by millions of Americans, and putting it into a monopoly format, and marketing it, is a smart move. At $29.95 a game, that guy might make a few bucks. The game is a reflection of the times we live in.

Of course, white people shouldn’t feel left out either, as there is a Redneckopoly coming soon, according to that site. :stuck_out_tongue:

Now, if the game is a ripoff of the real monopoly, and they end up getting sued by Hasbro, that is another matter, but banning the game is ridiculous.

The “should be banned” isn’t a direct quote, but a reporter’s paraphrase. If the black clergymen are saying the game is deplorable, and everyone should boycott the company which makes it, I’ve got no problem with that. If someone is actually saying people should be put in jail for manufacturing or selling the game, or otherwise restrained by the state from manufacturing or selling it, that’s going too far. (It’s possible the ownser of the original “Monopoly” trademarks could win a lawsuit on that grounds, although it would probably be protected as parody; of course a successful injunction resulting from a civil suit would be enforceable. But actually making racist, insulting, or demeaning speech illegal would be going too far.)

This game is a hilarious parody on the ghetto.

I’d buy it, play it, and have fun doing it too =)

OH and guess what, i’m not racist. Whoda’ thunk?

People need to lighten up.

I think it’s in terrible taste even if kinda funny and I would never buy it, and this from someone who laughed her ass off at the Klansman trying to hug Jonesy last night on RENO 911.


Daisy Cutter has a point in that perhaps this is an inevitable reaction to the constant export of this sort of “ghetto culture” to the world. If certain parts of American culture keep insisting that the whole pimps/hos/drugs/violence schtick (and to me it has become a schtick at this point, with kids dressing in what amounts to uniforms all around me) is just another art, and reflects “real life”, and is valid and profitable expression, it doesn’t surprise me that somebody enterprising has taken the ball and run with it, while creating a variation of a popular game. I’ve seen dozens of versions of Monopoly already–by region, by city, by cartoon (Simpsons, etc.), and in different languages. I certainly wouldn’t go with any sort of formal ban but a boycott? I think it’s overreaction but that’s their right. I’ve seen all sorts of tasteless things sold at Urban Outfitters but I just don’t biuy them.

What I do know is that thanks to those ministers, Ghettopoly is gonna be FLYING off the shelves today.

I think it is a pretty ugly thing.

Chance cards like “You got your whole neighborhood addicted to crack” become a lot less funny when someone in your family died of drug addiction. Or when somebody looks at you, registers your skin color, and thinks “Oh, crack addict”.

It would be different if this was our “making fun of ourselves”, but it is not. This is marketed towards a largly white, upper class demographic. I don’t like the idea that the urban poor and the trials they live through every day being used in the most lurid exploitational way as a fantasy world for upper middle class white folks to sit in their living rooms making fun of. I’m not for banning it or anything, but this crosses the line a bit.

Oh God forbid anyone parody “Black culture”.:rolleyes: Maybe these protesters should sit through 24 hours of JayZ and 50 Cent videos on MTV and maybe they will know why so-called “ghetto” culture has become something ridiculous and worthy of mocking. Maybe if someone portrayed actual ghetto life instead portraying it as a non-stop dance party there wouldn’t be games like Ghettopoly. Shit, I want to live in the Ghetto with the hos, 40s, Bentleys, and the non-stop block parties and bar-b-ques! Gee…should I pursue a career in rap music or become a drug kingpin?

What is mind-boggling to me though is how Urban Outfitters or A&F can sell stuff that they know will cause a big uproar. Maybe that’s the idea, I guess.

This sort of thing is roughly as offensive as gangsta rap, and for most of the same reasons. Mehitabel is correct, though - the sellers of this thing ought to cut the black ministers in on some of the profits for all the publicity.

I wouldn’t ban it, buy it or play it. Or publicize it, either.


from even sven:

/sigh, comments like this make me cringe. You have no IDEA who this game is marketed to, nor what the reasons behind it were. Unless you are the game maker you should keep those comments to yourself. Not everything is about “whitey”. How do we know this guy didnt grow up in the ghetto? Cause hes Asain? Only black people know what its like to grow up in a ghetto? Please!

To the OP, I think this game is fine…he is getting ready to release other games that mock other ethnic type groups as well. I wonder if the Redneckoply was released first would the NAACP be in such an uproar??

This game does nothing that every stand up comic since Richard Pryor hasnt done. Make fun of sterotypes to make people laugh and show just how ridculous they(sterotypes) are.

No more or less offensive than a typical Chris Rock show. If you’re against one but not the other, you’re a hypocrite. Personally, I find both pretty funny. And if someone made a “Mace-opoly” game based on my life, I’d laugh at that, too.

This game should be made available at major department stores.

I’d buy it.

So, MC Mith, when you droppin’ that CD, dawg?

Hmm, it seems the me that the inventors of this game have tin ears; I would have named it “Hiphopoly.” You get the rhyme with “Monopoly” and ytou avoid the handwringers by not using the G word. In any event, it seems to me to be crude satire inspired by rap and hip hop tunes, with the whole “Ghettolicious” motif.

At least it beats “Star Wars Monopoly” and “Gallipollopoly.”

While on the one hand I’m pretty close to a free speech absolutist, on the other hand my left-of-center political alarm goes off with a game that plays so heavily on stereotypes. So, I’m neither attacking nor defending the game. But, to address dob’s points:

The Urban Outfitters stores (the only non-web location where you can currently buy the game) are definitely oriented towards a “largly white, upper class demographic” as even sven said. I’ve been to most of their locations (currently just the Philly area) and that is definitely the “vibe” they give off. Check out their website.

Here is some additional information from the Philadelphia Inquirer that did not appear in the AP story quoted in the OP:

This game will be mine…oh, yes…it WILL be mine!

(I agree that it SHOULD be called “Hipopoly,” however)

If the dude’s Asian, he better be dropping Yakuzopoly.

You landed on my “Turkish Shore Batteries” with two houses. You owe me $250!

I have every fucking idea in the whole world who this is marketed at. And Ubran Outfitters does, too. In fact, Urban Outfitters has likely spend hundreds of thousands of dollars figuring out exactly who their target audience is, too. The stuff that happens in this world isn’t some strange series of accidents.

How do I know what these upper-middle class, semi-urban 20-24 year old mostly females do? Because I fall so neatly into their target audience that it is eerie. Their models look me. Their clothes look like the same stuff I buy from the thrift stores. My friends are over-the-top excited that they are building an UO in our town.

And how do I know about the ghetto? Because I grew up in the ghetto. And I’m experience a little difficulty with this whole sudden change of class thing. It’s funny how people look at you, see that you are white, and assume you want to join in making fun of poor people, too.

And yes, it pisses me off to see the friends I have now make fun of the people I grew up with. Because they don’t have the slightest clue what they are talking about. And they don’t realize that they are making fun of me to my face. And it’s all just a paper thin cover for the fact that they think poor people, and poor black people in particular, are objects of amusment like monkeys in a zoo.

And sometimes, it fucking hurts, too.

You know, I came in to this discussion ready to not be offended. My friends and I still joke about how “ghetto” we are and don’t take things all that seriously at all. And frankly if it was a bunch of wanna-be gansta thirteen year olds I wouldn’t be quite so upset. Maybe this just hits a bit close to home.

What got me most was how ugly the boardgame is. The images remind me of cartoons that I’ve seen on hate web sites.