We wrote down 50 words, put them in a hat and then drew them out until we got bored. Here's what we got: Politics. Lies. Fun. Oil. Capitalism. Anachism. Games. Terrorism. Cops. Subversion. Life. Dice. Frenzy. Friends. And toast.
We're not sure what else you want from an "About Us" page. I mean, you know these pages are just the product of a carefully managed and manipulated marketing message, right? Expecting a company to talk about itself honestly on its own website is like asking the IPCC to objectively investigate police brutality.
So knowing that this is an excercise in storytelling and narcissism, let's get the dull background out of the way first. If you want to know more of what makes us tick, read our manifesto.
A Brief History of TBG
- Founded in 2005, we are three good friends who felt a good response to the ridiculous is not the sublime, but the equally ridiculous. So we turned the absurd war on terror into an equally absurd boardgame
- It took a while to get accepted. Mixing games with social commentary is still a tough pill for some people to swallow. However, we were very pleased to discover there's actually a long tradition of political games, which includes Monopoly believe it or not.
- Rumours that TerrorBull Games was originally the brainchild of Slavoj Zisek, Timmy Mallet and the great, great grandchild of Simon Bolivar are probably false.
- TerrorBull Games is, however, run from a secret base deep in the heart of the Bolivian jungle.
You could call TerrorBull Games an eperiment in activisism, but that sounds way too serious. It's both more accidental and fun than that; a by-product of a private project that got out of control. Not very sexy, but that really is the truth. That "private project" was War on Terror, the boardgame. Long before TerrorBull Games existed, we were designing this game as a personal response to the absurdity surrounding us.
As time progressed and it became gradually clearer that we really were going to make this game and War on Terror was going to be a real product that people could buy and play, we realised we needed to form a company, mainly to attract investment. This got us thinking - what would a company that makes War on Terror the board game be like? Clearly it would be badass, but what would it want to achieve?
That's how TerrorBull Games evolved - as a mirror of our first and best-selling game. Blending satire and dark humour with traditional games produced something that was instantly subversive and unrecognised. It was one of those happy accidents of fate, but the manifesto we jokingly wrote back in October 2005 is still 95% intact today. Amazingly, we had it all figured out before we even knew it.
2007 on Hollywood Boulevard, LA for the
world's first 'War on Terror' tournament
Many people ask, why games? We think it's odd that not more games have a political core. They are fun, interactive and a powerful educational tool. But more importantly, why not - if every other creative medium can be culturally relevant, why not board games?
What Do We Do?
We blend politics, psychology, dark humour and a healthy dose of irreverence to make games that involve on both the superficial and the most profound levels. Unusually, we approach game design from a human perspective, rather than a mathematical one. This means our game mechanics are translations of real world behaviours and motives, which makes them ideal for people who 'don't normally play board games'.
If you are still none the wiser (and we wouldn't blame you), then this short clip from the 2009 BBC series 'Games Britannia' might put things in context:
Skip to the End
We design and publish board games, but don't let the archaic medium deceive you. We hope that they are not your usual games and we also hope that board games, along with games in general, will mature and assume their rightful place as a vital form of socially commentary, as much as they will inevitably mature as a source of entertainment.
Everything is political. Games, whether you like it or not, are not exempt. Sorry we ruined your hobby.
Testing the 'War on Terror' back in 2004,
when we were still talking to each other.
Remember, the revolution may not be televised, but it will be played out across the table.