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French board game about class struggle sells out in three weeks

The board game Kapital! shows how the mechanisms of class conflict work in French society.
The board game Kapital! shows how the mechanisms of class conflict work in French society. FRANCE 24 (screengrab)

In less than three weeks, board game lovers in France bought all 10,000 copies of Kapital!, a new game about class struggle, injustice and French politics created by French sociologists.

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Monique Pinçon-Charlot, who created the game with her husband Michel, reads from a Kapital! playing card that says, “You are entering the exclusive club of individuals who own the world’s most luxurious cruise ships…”

But not everyone can join this club. One player will draw the good lot and fall among the rich; others will be the struggling poor and middle class. All players have to fight their way to the “tax haven” at the conclusion of the board.

“Not only [do] you have to arrive first, but also you should have money, as well as social, cultural and symbolic capital. But just like in real life, the dominant player has the biggest chance to win,” Pinçon-Charlot said.

The sociologists created the game to raise awareness about social injustice and the gap between the rich and poor.

“The subtitle of the game is ‘Who will win the class war?’ because the extreme extent of social dominance and exploitation in Emmanuel Macron’s France has reached such a point that it is no longer a class struggle, but rather a war,” Pinçon-Charlot said.

The game was an instant success, selling out in less than three weeks.

Hugo Munler, a salesperson at a board game store in Paris, said, “People look for creative ideas – and this one is creative. That’s why it’s sold out. We receive about ten calls a day.”

Kapital! tackles society and politics with France as a backdrop but its creators believe it could be easily adjusted to suit other countries.

Click on the video player above to watch the full report. 

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