An Icehouse* Game of Abstracted Politics By Brian McCue
Copyright © 2001 Brian McCue
Besides Icehouse stashes, this game requires six sided dice, a ruler, and at least 100 glass beads or markers.
Triangulation is an abstract game of politics. The players—acting as politicians—take stances, shift convictions, sway voters, and watch as their positions shift beyond the pale, but these actions are all represented abstractly. Icehouse pieces represent the stances and positions; beads represent the voters, and the playing surface represents the “political landscape.”
This brief excerpt from the well-written rules explains the inspiration for this game: "It occurred to me that there are a great many spatial metaphors in politics: 'the political landscape,' 'the fringe,' 'the center,' and so on. Mark Penn’s coined term, 'triangulation' seemed especially interesting. It denotes the practice of adopting so nuanced a set of convictions that you can draw a favorable comparison between yourself and anybody else, from any point of view. It also suggests that the one-dimensional political landscape depicted by the terminology “right” and “left” is too simplistic; clearly triangles can only be created in a space of at least two dimensions. At that point in my thinking, the use of the Icehouse set came to mind."
The rules are available here.