By contributor Drew McLachlan
Two BC teachers are asking frustrated students, parents, and teachers to roll the dice to decide the fate of our province’s public school system with their new board game Christy’s World.
Told from the view of two disgruntled teaches, Christy’s World puts players in the role of the BC Premier as she races across the province to “shut down schools, privatize the industry, and raise [her] ratings.”
The satirical game was designed by Coquitlam- and Vancouver-based teachers Jean-Michel Oblette and Loren Letourneau as a means to protest the unwillingness of Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals to negotiate with the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) during the labour disputes, which, until last week’s announcement of a tentative deal, seemed to have no end in sight.
2/2 We want a deal that gives teachers a raise and invests in classrooms, but it must also be in line with settlements for other unions.
— Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) August 31, 2014
The duo took to crowdfunding website Kickstarter in order to gain support for the project in mid-August, reaching their $50 goal within 24 hours. By September 2, the final day of funding, $696 had been donated to help support Christy’s World. While those who donated received a printable .PDF file of the game board and tokens, the extra funds were used to provide copies for coffee shops and waiting rooms around the Lower Mainland, as well as mailing the game to newspapers, TV and radio stations, and government offices across the province.
The game itself is highly critical of Clark on both a professional and personal level. According to the developers, “you play as Christy, a clueless, tyrannical political wannabe without a conscience or college degree who works tirelessly to become British Columbia’s most grotesquely unpopular leader. Your objective is to crystallize power in an economic superclass by systematically destroying public education, privatizing industry, and looking good while you do it.”
The project also featured several stretch goals, including a tongue-in-cheek goal of $325 million, which would have gone towards funding the province’s public education system for a year. The number is in reference to a BC Court of Appeal ruling in February that called for the restoration of several clauses stripped from teaching contracts in 2002.
The project ended its funding period on September 2, followed by an announcement by Oblette and Letourneau that copies of the game would be sent out early this month.