Design student’s tabletop game challenges players to think about effects of the Philippine war on drugs
NEW YORK, NY — “Pusher” is designed to be a competitive tabletop game that brings the Philippine president’s war on drugs into your own living room.
Players take on the role of an anti-drug death squad to save the Philippines from drug pushers.
Design technology student Jed Segovia created this game as part of his thesis at the Parson’s New School of Design in New York City.
His last visit to the Philippines left a big impression on him, that gave him the idea to create this “game of tokhang.”
“Yung kasambahay namin sabi niya, mag-ingat kayo Jed sa pag-uwi ng madaling araw may natagpuang dalawang patay diyan lang sa amin, two blocks, it’s so close to home,” said Jed-Angelo Segovia.
“Pusher” is a two-player game for all ages, that turns the Philippine extrajudicial killings into a past- time.
Players setup their own Tokhang-ready shanties, with clear shabu crystal-like drug pushers.
The objective of the game is quite simple — aim, shoot and kill them all. When you kill a pusher, you get to hang a cardboard label just like unknown assailants do. The first player to kill all the pushers wins.
“It’s so ridiculous, but somehow it’s not quite as ridiculous as the fact that it’s parodying something that actually exists,” said Andrew Genualdi.
Segovia says, the “Pusher” game is more like an art installation with a message, than a real tabletop game.
“Dahil art siya, you know, medyo I’m sure people will look at this and say, what? Siraulo naman itong artist na ito nagsasabi na may game an EJK pero I think to myself when you look at the world right now is this the craziest thing out there?”
Segovia admits the game is outrageous, and taps into the same outrage he says many should feel when there are more than 7,000 related deaths to the Philippines’ war on drugs — including the innocent victims they call collateral damage.
“I am in a place where I can’t talk about it, and I should,” he said. “Hopefully it makes people laugh, it makes people angry, makes people cry, but most of all, makes people think.”
Segovia says he does not intend to sell the game. What he is selling is the idea of critical thinking more than making money.