Howzat’ Umpire? is a card game about setting up the best game of cricket using a set of players, equipment, game rules and terms faster than your competing players. Just one catch, you don’t anything about Cricket. Let’s be honest, cricket culture is pretty colonial. All the colonies still play the game, England loses to India often, and it gives us a smug sense of satisfaction for *those years*. However, cricket has not made it’s way into the hearts and minds of Americans. So to make a group of American players make sense of, set up, and then argue for their set-up is both hilarious, and an interesting parallel to another thing cricket represents for a large part of the world that plays it: Colonisation.
For this game, we wanted to make a playful metaphor about colonialism, being a post colonised individual myself, and being incredibly impressed by Dog-Eat-Dog from a few years ago. We decided to put a group of well meaning american people through the bizarrely ritualistic world of Cricket, where there were no formal points, but a set of judgemental judges (or Umpires), who would gauge the quality of your set up based on rules you certainly would not be told.
There you go. Try and play by invisible rules, try and please someone with a totally different take on culture and play from you, and let’s see you try and win the game against even a barely colonised, or heck, even a British person!