Dispute! The Apartment Game

Dispute! The Apartment Game

Jacob Fishman


DISPUTE! The Apartment Game: An interactive board game aimed to bring awareness to the people who have been impacted by gentrification and exploitative landlords. Designed to mimic the shape of an apartment building, the game presents itself as a commentary on the bias, social and economic classes in America and how that affects apartment tenants.

DISPUTE! serves as an outlet for people to share and learn about the issues between landlords and tenants. It features lived experiences from people living in Boston to raise awareness about the issue of gentrification. Through collaboration with the Somerville Cambridge Tenants Union, the project features stories from real people who have been to court with their landlords. The game is comprised of a three-dimensional board representing the many kinds of living in an apartment complex. Players are randomly assigned a character card at the beginning of the game. The board's unique and innovative three-dimensional shape catches the viewer's attention and serves as a visual hook too encapsulate the player further immerse themselves into the world and situations of the game.

As the game progresses, players will discover, learn and dispute many of the issues faced by tenants on a daily basis. Disputes are settled based on the characters assigned to each player at the beginning of the game. For example, if a player is assigned "Judy Turner", a white suburban middle-class mother of two who can't pay next month's rent, she would face a dispute card with issues ranging from resolving lease agreements to major landlord settlements. The game has been specifically designed for the people who don't face these housing challenges. The goal of DISPUTE! is for users to understand and empathize with those impacted by gentrification and exploitative landlords.