Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Board Game Wednesday: July 7 BP Oil Spill Update

1. Oilcast.

Continued southeasterly winds and currents should keep BP's visible oil lake away from Pensacola Beach another day or two, although NOAA warns "the coastlines of MS, AL, and the Florida panhandle west of Pensacola continue to be threatened by shoreline contacts." By our reckoning, the public beaches on Pensacola Beach are southeast of Pensacola, though not by much. Accordingly, there should be less chance of tarballs and mousse.

Beach Report No. 31 from says, "temperatures are expected to be near 88 degrees... Chance of rain is 30 percent."

2. We Get the Blues.

The beach is revving up for the annual Blue Angels weekend air show. There will be a short morning practice today, a longer practice tomorrow, and the dress rehearsal on Thursday. Saturday's official show starts at 2 pm.

Troy Moon's below-the-fold front page headline in the dead-tree Pensacola News Journal sums up the growing anticipation: "Blues Fly In, Oil Clears Out: As winds push mess west, businesses hope for the best."

Time was, as we recall it, when Troy Moon was the PNJ's main cultural events reporter. Now he covers oil spills, jet airplane stunts, and business economics. Truly, the BP oil spill has changed everything.

3. Burning Turtles.

Just before the holiday weekend commenced, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and other environmental groups announced settlement of a lawsuit which is supposed to result in "placing wildlife observers on board every vessel" engaged in oil burning near the site of the BP oil spill.

The observers will ensure compliance with BP's agreement to clear all sea turtles out of the oil 'boxes' rounded up for burning.

Additional details (and a gruesome photo) about the courageous whistle-blower who exposed BP Corp's cruelty, the lawsuit that followed, and the settlement are available here.

4. Family Games BP Plays.

You may have thought that BP was an international mega-corporation singularly focused on poisoning the Earth with its criminally negligent drilling practices. No way. BP, also known as British Petroleum, is a far-flung conglomerate with its paws in all kinds of businesses.

For example, not long ago someone remembered that in the 1970's British Petroleum designed and marketed in Great Britain a family board game called "Offshore Oil Strike." The game box came complete with the misleadingly green BP logo (see below):

The oil strike game is out of print now, but older ones still occasionally show up for sale on game trading web sites or even Ebay. We have a screenshot of one recently-completed sale on

The used game sold for £30, or roughly $60 -- plus, of course, shipping, handling, and haz-mat suit (see left). The web site "Hardware" has some of the rules:
Two to four players compete at exploring for oil, building platforms, and laying pipelines to bring the offshore oil back to the player's home company. Players take on the roles of either BP (Hull), Amoco (Bergen), Chevron (Rotterdam) or Mobil (Dieppe) in their quest for oil. As with other games focusing on offshore oil exploitation (e.g., Omnia's North Sea Oil), there is also the risk that storms will reduce production on, or eliminate, one's oil platforms. The first player to make $120,000,000 in cash is the winner.
As the game box reads, you too can experience "The Thrills of Drilling, the Hazards and Rewards As You Bring in Your Own Offshore Oil Strike." Buy the game -- or, if you can't find one, then visit Pensacola Beach and experience it like a reality show.

5. More Oil Spill Board Games Coming.

As it happens, our little group that visited beach restaurants the other day talked about this very thing. Someone suggested there is now a need for a BP Oil Drilling board or video game. We figure a wide variety will be spilling onto the market very soon.

Here's one of the ideas we came up with. We call it "Witness for the Petroleum Prosecution."

The rules are simple. Players select one of six playing pieces:
The "bank" starts each player off with a pile of credits and debits. The oil company gets $300 billion on the positive side and six lawsuits filed against it on the negative. Everyone else begins with 200 dollars, a $300 mortgage or credit card debt, and one of the injury or loss claims against the oil company.

Players move around the 'globe' on the board according to the roll of dice. They may land on scattered "good fortune" or "bad fortune" squares where they must draw a fortune" card from the deck. Good fortune cards can award such things as "oil company check," "get well soon credit," "tar-off packet" and "trip to the mountains." Bad fortune cards impose fines, illness, shareholder revolts, or financial ruin.

Players compete to buy up all the available expert witnesses for the pending lawsuits. The first one to hire every last expert wins the game, just as in real life.

Look for the game in your local toy store just as soon as BP sends us a check.

1 comment:

best pharmacy said...

I think that it is great that they are doing something for those turtles and I hope that those people in charge of the surveillant can do a great job and save as many lives as possible.