This week, we played Ladies and Gentlemen in class. I have been looking forward to playing this in class since J.S. said that this was the first game he chose for this class. I liked the structure of playing in randomly assigned teams of “ladies and gentlemen” and how each side (lady or gentleman) had to use our partner’s advantages to help us win the game occurring on our side. The gentleman was responsible for trading stocks and making money, while the lady was responsible for shopping for the most elegant gown. I was unsure of what side I wanted to choose because in my life, I love to trade stocks to make money so I can buy elegant things!
Playing the game was interesting, although I do not understand the ladies’ side (since the gentlemen’s side was easier to understand, that is the side I chose to play). As a man, I got to collect resources to fulfill contracts. Each contract gave me money. When I returned home from work, my wife had gone and found some beautiful thing to wear to the ball. I have no idea how my lovely lady shopped or what made a dress prettier than another, but I did my best to dress her the best I could (this was funny because I had a guy as my wife).
In this game, I feel that gender roles were important to how the game was played, but I’m not looking to get into a discussion about that. Although the gentlemen’s side was easier, they were the “leader” of the game; they made the money and had final say in bonuses and what to buy. Knowing that would have been useful prior to starting the game. Otherwise, I would have taken on more of a leadership role instead of hiding behind my wife.
In today’s political climate, having a game that forces people to conform to certain “norms” can be looked down on. Everyone is forced to be heterosexual and a male or female. There probably are people who will not play this game because of this, but it is easy to overlook the roles to just enjoy the game. My mom would really enjoy playing this game because she is really good at seeing good things quickly (for looking for resources) and she has quite the eye for fashion, too.