Second Article for Dicebreaker: On “Ameritrash” Board Games
In a fit of pique, game designer Richard Hutnik seemingly minted the word ‘Ameritrash’. His forum posts on the topic, held in a digital archive, date back to 2000:
“Why is it, at [sic] a rule, they are bound to produced [sic] games run amok with randomness?… I know wargames are a general exception to this rule…. Think of the average game inventor in America. What is s/he trying to hawk? Either a luckfest game… or an abstract strategy game…. [The] “Ameritrash” mentality. (Ameritrash being my variant on the term “Eurotrash” that gets thrown around in some circles).”
This pique stuck with him. In 2011, he published W.W.B. (World’s Worst Boardgame) and encouraged everyone to rate it a 1 on BoardGameGeek. It consisted of 102 cards – two labelled ‘Start’ and ‘Finish,’ the rest numbered 1-100 – and a blank d6 with a ‘5’ taped to one side. Roll a 5 and your pawn moves up a number. Roll a second 5 and you don’t return to the start. Rinse and repeat.