Vicious Cycle

Uliana Dukach and Rowan Roudebush


Poverty is a big problem and the goal of  Vicious Cycle is to show how poverty is a never-ending loop and that it is very hard to get out. Our game uses tiles to represent stages in life; to move forward on a tile, players have to pay one token. In this game, there are also Paydays, Ultimatums, and Setbacks. When the players land on a payday the player takes eight tokens to help them go forward in the game. If the player lands on an Ultimatum spot the player can do something mentally or physically grueling and get two tokens, or they can do nothing and earn nothing. On the setback space, the player has a choice either to pay an amount of money or not to pay and instead pay later. In the middle of the board, there is a big funnel that the player throws their tokens into all of the tokens and puts them into one big jar.


Vicious Cycle: A real-life board game that allows you to explore systematic classism in an abstract way.

In today's society, there is a disconnect between upper and lower classes around the world. Upper and Lower classes have little understanding of each other's lives, causing a lack of sympathy for around the world.[try to strengthen this underlined lead-in; can you restructure to avoid “there is”? can you clarify the contrast intended between “separated” and “lack of connection”—is it meant to be physical vs. emotional?]  This art installation hopes to help rectify this separation through a game which allows you to experience systematic classism. The installation is a life-sized board game in which players physically move from space to space when they pay a token. Along the way, you come across tiles that give you money, tiles that give you money if you do something physically or mentally challenging, and tiles that take money. The circular shape of the board game simulates a cycle, with an exit tile allowing you to escape. The catch is that the spacing of the tiles and the tiles themselves are designed so that you can never reach that large sum of money to exit the cycle. This gives the player a sense of the game being rigged against you by setting a goal that you cannot reach; for this is how our economy works for more than 14% of Americans today.