Forget Park Lane, I'll buy a bit of puff...

New board game has anti-drugs campaigners up in arms

There was a time when board games were wholesome family fun: mum, dad and children around the table, squabbling over whose turn it is and who owes what to whom. But a new game launched in the UK last week has a more sinister aim: make the most cash from dealing drugs without getting caught.

The game, called the Chaps from Amsterdam, is like the evil love child of Monopoly and TV's The Wire. It has enraged anti-drugs campaigners who say it both glamorises and trivialises the trade.

Players become dealers who vie to buy S.P.A.C.E (speed, puff, acid, coke and ecstasy) in Amsterdam for the lowest price and sell it on for the greatest profit.

Instead of Monopoly's Chance cards, there are Police cards, whose forfeits include: "Your bent copper loses the evidence; pay protection £150,000", and, "Your courier is busted for ecstasy; lose all your Es". Other cards detail the actions of informers and the courts.

The game is on sale online directly from its manufacturers and from eBay for £39.99. It was devised by a company called Hard Impact Board Games, who are careful to protect their anonymity. Describing themselves as "a collective of individuals from London aged 30-50", they claim not to have first-hand knowledge of the Dutch drugs scene, although one of the game's inventors is understood to have spent time in prison.

On their website they write: "The Chaps from Amsterdam has been formulated through years of hard work, in bedrooms, front rooms, pubs, clubs, raves, festivals, police cells and prison cells. Trust nobody and never be too flash with your cash as, like in real life, the police, courts and informers are waiting for you around each and every corner!"

Peter Stoker, director of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said yesterday: "This so-called 'game' is a deeply cynical attempt to make money from a dirty business. They cite the usual get-out clauses about this game just being for 'educational, recreational and historical purposes' and they claim 'no intention to incite the use of controlled or illegal substances'. In fact it's self-evident that it's for money-making purposes, and, if it incites drug use, who are they to care? It's the rest of us who will have to deal with the damage they cause."

Mr Stoker continued: "They give the impression that drug use is a subject you can have fun with – but would you buy a board game about other illegal actions like robbery, or domestic violence, or rape? This game is just as damaging in its own way, and it belongs in the wheelie bin, along with its makers."

Martin Barnes, the chief executive of the charity DrugScope, said: "Games like this certainly don't help people to make informed decisions about drugs, and to some extent they trivialise the significant harms caused by the illegal drug trade."

Hard Impact Board Games denied this: "It's a game and it shows quickly the possible consequences of engaging in this type of activity, such as time in prison or rehab. The game also has some squares that will take you out of the game completely to show the ultimate consequence of drug taking and drug dealing."

Asked whether one of the game's inventors had spent time in prison and whether experience of drugs-related crime had been incorporated in the game, the spokesman declined to comment, saying: "It's just a concept of how things might be in that scenario. At the end of the day, it's a game."

News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker