Board Games as a Trojan Horse for Enlightenment

Why do so many of us play games? Sure, they’re fun, usually come with awe-inspiring graphics, and quality time with friends. But to keep returning to a game board week after week means that players have invested a little bit of their souls into the game world. Games have the unique ability to explore issues that people may be hesitant to participate in or think about (say, ruling a country), and presenting them as engaging narratives in a risk-free environment. Every well-crafted game can be an epiphany in itself without being preachy or boring. I call this phenomenon the cultural Trojan Horse - good content can draw you in with its shiny foil and imaginative setting, and insidiously deliver insights and ideas before you even recognize that a re-education is happening.

With SHASN, I take the attraction of play, competition, and board games, and apply it onto the political crises we experience (or ignore) worldwide. I wanted to make a game that everyone could get a piece of and enjoy, from casual players at family night to hardcore gamers at competitive circuits. You will have an adrenaline-filled couple of hours as you gather power and build your Shasn. But as an innocuous side-effect, you also get to truly be a politician, experience all the pressure of a real campaign, wield the power, and make the decisions that impact your life as a citizen in the real world. Before you know it, you’ve discovered a thing or two about the powers that be. Well, it’s a crazy world out there, and this is your chance to rule it.

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