Thursday, November 29, 2007

Risk, Carioca Style

For those who weren't sufficiently offended by "be an illegal immigrant" events and favela tours, a designer from Rio's Zona Sul has something new to offer: "Risk", Rio-style. Updating the old global-conquest game in which the players tried to use their armies to take over the 6 inhabited continents, 29-year-old designer Fábio Lopez has created "War in Rio", in which you can try to be any number of factions of drug gangs or Rio's corrupt police, trying to gain control of the city. Lopez has created a map of the city of Rio, divided like "Risk" into 6 major sections, but beyond that, the rules and idea are the same. Lopez apparently felt this was a good idea after he was robbed, an event which he apparently felt was "enlightening" enough to come up with this "game".

Lopez claims "The idea isn't to incite violence. What I want to provoke with the game is a discussion about the discomforts of living in a city at war with itself." Unfortunately, Lopez, like too many people here, only considers the violence in a one-way direction. He wasn't terribly worried about the violence within the city when police invaded Alemão and put it under a state of de facto martial law, nor did he seem to really consider the violence when the police were dismembering corpses of regular residents fighting for their rights in the faveals. Yet he gets robbed in the Zona Sul (one of the safest and richest parts of the city), and suddenly, he's worried about the violence in the city. It only pops into his head once it affects him directly, and given the fact that he's included the BOPE as one of the "factions" you can be, I suspect strongly that he falls into that category of middle class residents who believe that BOPE and other police forces are totally justified in any and all measures employed against the poor in the favelas. The fact that he could now stand to make money off this idea just adds to the repulsion of this.

Hopefully, the actual creators and producers of Risk will make sure any mass-production of this game gets halted on legal grounds. Still, the fact that it even reached this point is just one more example not jsut of how unwilling many people are to actually consider the real causes and effects of violence; it shows just how far from the reality of poverty, police brutality, and the favelas most residents of Rio are.