Game Chef Reviews – Young Turks

The Young Turks At The Cafe is an interesting concept. There is an ernest attempt to gamify the navel gazing arguments that was often the focus of college students in cafes,  dorm rooms and hall lounges. The spirit of playing out these discussions is well conveyed. The construction of The Doctor and Coyote was a fitting use of the ingredients and an attempt ot guid discussion.

An area that confused me was the use of the dice  to generate the end game and the Lantern sessions. The governing rules for using the fruitful void, attaching die, choosing to do the mission and choosing the leader should have more integration and more structure or examples of play to guide players.

The use of ingredients for this entry was ambitious, but ultimately, I think it would have been better if they were thinned out. The Doctor, Coyote sections were well selected, the Lantern seemed lightly linked and Dice crunch was present, but meaningfulness for the game seemed unrelated to the flow of play.

For future iterations of Young Turks, it would feel more complete if there was a clearer integration of the phases and perhaps an alternate method of resolution for the endgame instead of die rolls.

An addendum, I found it extremely problematic in this example of conflict from this game:

The shooting of Trayvon Martin, an incident in which a twenty-eight-year old, white
hispanic man who volunteered for a neighborhood watch program shot and killed an
unarmed seventeen-year-old black man, ostensibly in self-defense – “what are the
reasonable limits of self-protection, and when, if ever, is deadly force warranted in
self-defense?”

One thought on “Game Chef Reviews – Young Turks

  1. Hi Laura,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read Young Turks. I really appreciate it.

    I wrote some about my design challenges and process over on The Forge: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=32959.0 I’d be curious to hear what you think of those ramblings? I think I was definitely aware of the disconnect between the die-based crunch and the rest of the game. I will bear your commentary on Lantern scenes in mind.

    I wanted to speak briefly to your addendum, because it’s an issue that I struggled with very intensely in the process of writing the game, and I care very deeply about it.

    First of all, I want to say that, yes, it is exceedingly problematic to frame this kind of issue this way. As a white, male, upper-middle class, college educated American, I do not have a privileged viewpoint with which to comment on issues of race and interracial violence. That was exactly my point: I wanted to problematize the dialogue happening around the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Is it okay to talk about these things? Aren’t we as a society, in some sense, responsible for these things? But, on the other hand, why do we allow and indulge in the media circus? Isn’t it disrespectful?

    Clearly, outrage and popular involvement have contributed enormously to the pressure to bring George Zimmerman to trial. Some of that outrage, indignation, and involvement has come from people exactly like the protagonists in Young Turks. Is that right? Is that okay? How do we feel about that? What are our responsibilities, as (in all likelihood) uninvolved bystanders who have been informed of nothing about the situation but what has been spoon-fed to us?

    I sincerely didn’t mean to offend. I meant to agitate. I meant to discomfort. If I haven’t done this, will you help me to understand how I can make it better?

    Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to think about this game and share your thoughts with the world. You have really struck to the core of a lot of my unvoiced concerns about the game. I would love to unpack them with you.

    Respectfully yours,

    Zachary Donovan

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