Karol Madaj of Poland's state National Remembrance Institute demonstrate's Kolejka (The Queue), which he created to remind Polish youth how hard communism sucked.
On February 5, Poland's National Remembrance Institute will be punting some 3,000 copies of a new game called Kolejka (The Queue). Developed by Karol Madaj, the object is to buy basic living supplies while lack of deliveries, shortages, and other players cutting the line with "connections" cards try stealing your thunder.
"We want to show young people and remind the older ones what hard times these were and what mechanisms were at play," explains Madaj to the Associated Press (courtesy theirs for the photo).
Madaj, who's only 30, vividly remembers spending hours with his mother in lines. And they were often cut by people with high connections, an experience he brings to the gameboard: in line for the last pair of shoes in a store? Watch out for a triumphant competitor clutching a "friend in government" or "mother with small child" card. And even when cutting's not the problem there are issues of supply: a person waiting for a bed may well be offered a stool when claim time comes.
Madaj hopes the game will be played with members of different generations, as it evokes emotions in older players who will begin reminiscing about their own experiences.
"We may laugh at it today, but it was not funny for them, when they were wasting their lives in lines," he reflects.
Communism in Poland saw its end in 1989. The country joined the EU in 2004.