'Vatican' board game helps players understand how a pope is elected
Published: April 22, 2008
SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- The creator and the publisher of a board game called "Vatican: Unlock the Secrets of How Men Become Pope" said they hope players have fun with it but learn something along the way about how a pope gets elected. Stephen Haliczer, the game's creator, is a research professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. The history of the Catholic Church is one of his areas of interest. The game, available on the Web at www.vaticanboardgame.com, was published by the College of DuPage Press in Glen Ellyn, Ill. "Vatican" is for two to six players, who assume the roles of prominent, fictional cardinals viewed as possible papal contenders. To win, a cardinal must earn the support of at least two-thirds of the 150 cardinals voting in the simulated papal conclave. According to the instruction booklet, "'Vatican' is a simulation of processes and events that are in reality far more complex and nuanced than in the game." Though "designed for enjoyment," the simulations are "distillations from the recent history of papal elections," which Haliczer and the publisher hope will also provide players with "some solid knowledge along the way."
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