In It Together

In It Together

In It Together overview:
"Snakes & Ladders as reimagined by John Rawls"
4 players
10-15 mins
8+ yrs

In It Together was commissioned by the Loco Comedy Film Festival at the BFI Southbank as a fully playable game printed in their 2015 festival programme. The theme of the festival was "class", so we devised a rather unfair variant on snakes & ladders that invites players to try and make it better. But do they?

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This is a Printable Game

All you need to do is download the game files, print them off and you're good to go. Any boards, playing tokens, cards etc. are included in the files, but you may need to source some other bits yourself - typically dice, paper & some coins as counters.

Game Files

You will need: A printer. Scissors. One 6-sided dice. A pen.

In It Together -  high res jpeg

Download In It Together PDF 6.9Mb | Hi-res JPEG 1.4Mb

"IN IT TOGETHER is a twisted version of Snakes & Ladders where players start with different advantages and then have to collectively agree on how to even out that advantage."

About In It Together

In It Together was included in the 2015 programme for the London Loco Comedy Film Festival. They wanted a playable game that played with the idea of "class" - their theme for that year

We opted to subvert an already recogniseable game - maybe the protogame, Snakes & Ladders - and turn it into a self-examination of advantage. Crucially different to the original, players in In It Together (a phrase taken from David Cameron's laughable double-think slogan for the Conservative party) start at different places on the board. They then have to vote on a set of extra rules to include in the game which could potentially level the playing field before starting the game - only fair, right? But once someone wins, the twist is that the game has to be played a second time and this time players vote on the same rules before they find out which position they're going to occupy on the board.

It's a rather basic implementation of John Rawl's veil of ignorance but the difference in arugment and voting behaviour between the two games is very telling. If possible, the game is best experienced if you don't know the twist is coming and so it works particularly well in a classroom or educational setting where the game can be introduced in stages by a teacher or game co-ordinator.

The interesting thing about all this is that Snakes & Ladders originated as a game of deep moral instruction. Known as Moksha Patam where it originated in ancient India, it was a game reflecting Hindu moral philosophy and dealing with karma. It then got imported into 19th Century England and was injected with a fresh dose of Victorian moralism where it was used to teach children that if you do bad stuff you don't get to heaven.

And so, in a way, we've subverted nothing, just returned Snakes & Ladders to it's moral roots. I only hope we've done this rather fascinating game some (moral) justice.

Creative Commons License This game is released under Creative Commons licence


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