Life as a BlackMan is a board game based on The Game of Life designed and marketed by Underground Games, Inc., a black-owned game company chaired by C.E.O. Chuck Sawyer. The intent of Life as a BlackMan is to depict life's struggle to get ahead from the perspective of oppressed minorities in the United States. The game is promoted as a way to teach tolerance. However, critics of the game charge that Life as a BlackMan, like Ghettopoly, only reinforces negative stereotypes of black Americans.
Object of the GameEdit
Players begin the game as an eighteen-year-old black male high school graduate who is ready to enter the world and build a career. After starting the game, players must make their way through a number of treacherous districts, each with its own hazards and diversions. Players start in a district based upon a roll of the dice. Some of the districts include Glamourwood (the entertainment industry), Black University, Military, Ghetto, Corporate America, and Prison. Players also choose what character type they will be based upon a roll of the dice. Some of the character types include creative, intellectual, and athletic. One player must be the Government. The Government pays all salaries, handles all automobile and legal transactions, and reads the cards for Prison. No mater what district or what character type, the police lurk everywhere and racism is always ready to thwart a player's ambitions. Throughout the game players are asked if they know good from evil. Individuals can choose the church or slip into a life of crime. Church provides strength and guidance. Crime has consequences, and while lucrative, it also leads to frequent encounters with police and ultimately prison. If a player has acquired enough money, he can pay for the Dream Team Attorney. If not, the overworked and often unreliable Public Defender is available. Cars also make a difference, and a player must choose his ride wisely. Options include the SUV, Used Car, Bucket, or even no car at all. Choosing no car is risky because public transportation is unreliable and one needs a car to get around in Downtown. There are 360 Action Cards that provide diversions, roadblocks, and unexpected curves in all aspects of life. Building a pile of cash and getting rich is not the goal of this game. The one and only object of the game is to stop going around in endless circles, find a good career, and attain Freedom. The first person to reach Freedom wins.
The equipment consists of 1 24" x 24" game board, 1 9" x 12" Prison Platform, 1 4-sided die, 1 6-sided die, 6 game pawns, 12 decks of Action Cards, (25 GlamourWood cards, 25 Black University cards, 25 Military cards, 30 Ghetto cards, 25 Corporate America cards, 20 Church cards, 25 Prison cards, 25 Life cards, 50 Career cards, 25 Racism cards, 25 Crime cards, and 25 Police cards). 18 Character Type Cards (6 Creative, 6 Intellectual, and 6 Athletic), 14 Transportation Cards (5 "No Car" cards, 3 "Bucket" cards, 2 "Used Mid-Size" cards, 2 "New Sub-Compact" cards, and 2 "New SUV" cards), 3 Debt cards and a pack of BlackMan money. There are 360 cards in total.