Jed-Angelo Clarence Q Segovia
(thesis advisor)Andrew Zornoza
(thesis advisor)Anezka Sebek
(thesis advisor)Ethan Silverman
May 23 2018
Pusher is a children’s tabletop game based on the Philippines’ government-sanctioned drug killings. In May 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte began a war on drugs targeting addicts, dealers, and “pushers,” with a death toll of 8,000 and climbing. Despite accusations of vigilante killings, human rights violations, and targeting poor people, the administration earned a 78% approval rating in its first 100 days. Pusher gives players guns and a tiny prison to eliminate “pushers” from neighborhoods, avoiding humane alternatives like rehab centers. The game engages players with fun, then subverts their enjoyment by revealing its violent roots. Pusher is advertised with an aggressive parody of children’s toy commercials. It is intended to ask Philippine audiences how normal these killings become that they inspire a children’s game. This paper describes the research and design process leading to the launch of Pusher.
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