You might call it Marxism for fun and profit.
It's that new game, "Class Struggle."
All the proletariat may soon be playing it, if Marxist political science professor Bertell Ollman has his way.
Ollman, the New York University scholar whose potential appointment as a University of Maryland department chairman has caused a furor on the Maryland political scene, invented the game and introduced it yesterday as the "first board game to present a Marxist view of the world."
"It doesn't promote greed, powertripping, violence or war," Ollman said from his home.
"It teaches people to begin thinking of belonging to a class and wanting to win as a class member, rather than winning for oneself."
Besides all that, said Ollman, "It's fun."
The professor, whose Maxist views set off a Maryland political spat, now appears to be going capitalist.
With friends, he has formed Class Struggle Inc., of which he is president, to market his board game brainchild at $9.95 a shot. (Monopoly, that capitalists favorite, has suggest retail price of $7.75 for a standard set, according to a spokesman for the original manufacturer.)
As a game of Class Struggle begins, a player's class will be determinded, "as it is in life," by a roll of "the genetic dice," according to Ollman.
Then players representing workers and capitalists, will move around the blue-and-red board attempting to pick up assets, the game points, to win the class struggle.
Workers will move a little hammer around: capitalists, a little top hat. Under some circumstances, there'll be additional classes of professionals, farmers, small businessmen and students.
Players will make and break alliances within and among classes as they land on confrontation squares and move to that final confrontation - revolution.
"Not a violent overthrow," Ollman emphasised, "but a structural change."
Along the way, they'll pick chance cards, like this one of capitalists: "Your son is a heroin addict. Your daughter has just become a follower of Rev. Moon. So what good does all your money do you? Worrying makes you forget your next two turns at the dice."
Ollman said he worked on Class Struggle for seven years because he was concerned about the "emotions and attitudes" promoted by most of the usual board games.
"This game will give people view of how our society works, and for whom," Ollman said.
And does turning into a capitalistic company president bother him?
"No, you can be a member of different classes at the same time," the professor noted. "It may cause some problems in my psyche, but I'll do my best to keep my head on straight."
The game, which Ollman unveilled yesterday in New York City and which he is selling through the mail, is not yet available in the Washington area, he said.