The Game of LIFE

LIFE – FOB Edition 2010 24 x 19.5 x 2.5 in. Game board, paper, plastic, thread.  

In 2010, I took a course called Social Issues Through the Arts. I had the pleasure of participating in a group project with fellow artists, Tina Russell and Lara Kaminsky.  We created a collaborative installation that addressed a social caste system that exists in America, preventing equal access for many communities.

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We staged a high stakes business meeting.  Participants were asked to role play as executives and discussed strategies to increase sales of the Game of LIFE.   American society is highly stratified, so the executives came up with some New Editions of the game, designed to pander to several different American social classes.  We each developed a prototype board that addressed the perceived and real experiences of certain groups.

My board was the Fresh Off The Boat Edition, which lumped first generation American immigrants into a homogeneous social class, regardless of ethnicity, country of origin, or socioeconomic status.  I tried to be conscious of immigrant stereotypes, however perceived, and of the shared experiences, of my friends, and family.

Game of LIFE – Project Description

This project addresses the idea that social class, or a caste system, exists within the United States, and contends that American society is not necessarily an egalitarian one, despite the fiction of the American Dream. Myths tell us hard work and diligence generate equal access, but this is not the reality. We have redesigned the iconic Milton Bradley “Game of LIFE.” These new editions are intended to mix it up.

  • Urban Ghetto Edition – comments on the experience and oppression of our cities’ urban poor, especially urban poor of color.
  • Privileged Edition – comments on the life of perceived excess and unfettered access, given to those who inherit tremendous wealth.
  • Fresh Off The Boat Edition – addresses on stereotypical, historical and current experiences of America’s immigrants.

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