Thank you for reading this article and welcome to our blog! We want to use it as a platform to keep you guys informed about everything that surrounds the development of our board game “Hegemony”: Details regarding the game´s mechanics, how they are related to real-world dynamics, and the academic theories we used as key parts of our design philosophy- all of this will be elaborated on here! To start things off, in this article, we would like to briefly talk about the story of the game. After all, how and why did this project originate?
During my studies of the International Political Economy at King´s College London, I stumbled upon Antonio Gramsci´s concept of “Cultural Hegemony”. Immediately, I was intrigued by its explanatory potential as it significantly helped me to understand and conceptualize many political events, such as the presidency of Donald J. Trump or the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (“Brexit”). On the other side, however, I was flabbergasted by its low prominence in society.
One day, I decided to change that. I met with my professor and explained him my vision: As in Gramsci´s concept, hegemony derives from ideas and ideas get spread through media such as the internet, television, music, books and so on, I wanted to use media to spread the idea of hegemony itself! For this goal, the medium “board game” seemed very promising as it would enable the participants to learn about hegemony in a playful manner and, hence, it could reach more people. My professor liked the idea, so he gave me the initial support to get it started. But as time went by and I gathered more and more ideas, the size of the game started to grow as well.
As the idea to let the players engage on the board in a nation-scenario existed early on, I started to introduce more theories into the game in order to reflect the workings of the nation as much as possible. In effect, I began to implement elements that would help the player to attain a comprehensive understanding of political science, political economy, and economics. Once I had the feeling that my vision started to take a concrete shape, my team and I presented it in the Idea Incubator in Cyprus and got accepted. Following this, I gathered a constantly expanding team of game experts and academics which help me to bring this wonderful idea to life by making sure that the game is fun and theoretically valid. So here we are now…
Hegemony is getting closer to completion by each day and what once was an abstract concept in my head turns to reality. Thank you for being a part of this beautiful journey.
We hope that this message gives you a good idea of how our game sprung to life. If you now are wondering “what the hell is Gramsci´s concept of hegemony anyway?” the next article is definitely for you! There, we will explain the basic premises and the resting pillars of this theory!