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The March of the Penguins

Play to Protest | Projects

  • Inspired by the 2006 protests in Chile, The Penguin March is an unpredictable board game that sets two players against each other as protesters and police, clashing over the Chilean education system. Since the 2006 protests, sometimes referred to as the March of the Penguins due to the color of the students’ uniforms, there have been many more education protests in Chile, mostly between 2011 and 2013, pushing for eliminating the costs of public schoolings, and for greater state involvement in the education system.  Outnumbered them three to one, police must use the resources at their disposal--including tear gas and water cannons--in order to defend themselves and suppress the protests. The game shows the volatility of the protest, with the police directing violence the protesters without warning.

    While outnumbered, the police have more power in that they can make arrests, throw tear gas, and set up barricades to slow the progress of protesters. The protesters must make their way through the police in order for them to get three of the five protest leaders to the other side of the board. The police and protesters are 3D printed, which allowed for individuating detail to make it seem as though the opponents are playing with real people, not just pieces that represent people. The game board is made of laser cut wood. The bases of the pieces were designed to wrap around the edge of the squares they stand on for more stability. The hope is that after playing the game, people will have a better understanding of the protests in Chile, and of the helplessness felt by the students stuck in the public education system.