It all started as a Christmas gift for my parents.
For context, my parents are conservative. Very conservative. Not quite storm the capitol, more like Tucker Carlson die hards.
During 2020’s summer of social unrest and looming presidential election, political tensions were high. But nowhere higher than at my parents’ house. Every morning I would wake up to texts from my parents with links to articles describing whatever crazy thing the Left was up to that day. AOC said this. Pelosi proposed that. The country was going you know where.
I found that introducing humor, appropriately timed, helped ease the tension.
Mom: Did you hear what Antifa did in Seattle over the weekend?!
Me: Yeah, I saw George Soros’ congratulatory tweet.
The slight break in tension created by the laughter let the discussion reset. No one was riled up. Now we could have a contemplative conversation about the political issue at hand.
One day in late August I was in my car, reflecting on a political discussion I had just had with my parents. And a thought popped into my head. What if I could create a political satire board game? What if I could finish it in time to give it to them for Christmas?
Not just any game, but a game that makes fun of the absolute lunacy of the Political Left. And so it began.
Candyland + Fox News + Cards Against Humanity. That was the concept. I named the game Deterioration because, hey, that’s the word that best encapsulates what the Left is doing to our country. I worked on the game from August to November and found a small-scale manufacturer that would accept limited orders.
I ended up making a few extra copies to give to friends and family for Christmas.
The feedback was positive…more positive than I was expecting (I’ve never made a board game before, so my expectations were low). I heard that this was hilarious. That there was nothing like this. That there was finally something for us.
A game for conservatives by conservatives.
They told me I had to somehow make this game available to the rest of the silent majority fed up with the politically correct cancel culture plaguing our country. I listened.
After a few months of revisions to the original prototype, the game was ready. However, as I am not yet a gaming mogul, I lacked the funds to bring this game to the market. So I turned to crowdfunding and launched the game on Kickstarter on August 7.
I set a fairly modest goal of $5,000 in pledges for the duration of the Kickstarter campaign (August 7 to August 27). We reached that goal in the first 30 minutes. Could I be onto something?
I’ve learned a lot working on this project the last several months. One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me is the existence of a much larger problem (and opportunity). The Political Left has a stranglehold on a an incredibly important part of our culture: entertainment.
There has been an increasingly diminished representation of conservative values in the entertainment industry. We all know about the Alt-Left’s longstanding infiltration of Hollywood. But the infestation has spread.
Stand-up comedians are cancelled if they dare to cross the politically correct line. Musicians have been kicked out of their bands for publicly supporting conservative ideals.
You can’t turn on a sporting event without someone kneeling for the National Anthem or the broadcasters peddling some sort of left-leaning rhetoric.
What about another category of entertainment: tabletop games?
Free time during the pandemic lockdown has been a boon for board game manufacturers. The global games and puzzles market is expected to reach a value of $11 billion in 2021. That’s a lot of games. And none of them are designed for a politically conservative audience. Why is that?
Is it because conservatives don’t play tabletop games? Because no one has ever tried to create a game for conservatives? Or because efforts to create such games have been cancelled before they could take off? I don’t know the answer, but it is surely some combination of these three possibilities.
My vision for conservative, political satire gaming is this: To raise awareness of the Political Left’s agenda, generate thought-provoking dialog among friends and family, and relieve politically-induced tension through comedy and satire.
Just remember, the Political Left would be funny…if only they were joking.
Chris McMahan is the creator of the board game “Deterioration.”