The culture of arranged marriages is still very prevalent in South-Asian societies. Many girls are forced or emotionally blackmailed into marrying someone their family chooses for them.
Their husband is usually chosen on the basis of his wealth and social status, or sometimes, even as a business deal. The woman’s role in these types of marriages is just as superficial. They have to present themselves as being the perfect bride at all times, which leads to using things such as skin whitening creams and diet pills. Most of these women cannot fight against the culture because they aren't educated enough to be able to provide for themselves.
I think the first step to fixing any problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem to begin with, and to have a conversation about it.
“Arranged!” masks the darkness of this topic, and provides a platform for people to be able to discuss these issues in a very lighthearted setting.
Using inspiration from my own journey, I created a board game that involves a matchmaker trying to get the teenage girls married off to any and every boy she can find, while they try to run away from her, and a loveless marriage.
There are three female protagonists and one “Rishta Aunty” (i.e, the matchmaker)
The Aunties goal is to get all the girls married off. She moves closer to them as she learns about things such as their ability to cook, the amount of dowry they’ll bring in and whether or not they have “child bearing hips”
The girls spend their time coming up with creative ways to avoid getting hitched by the aunty. They can do so by talking about having a career, gaining weight, being seen in the mall with boys, or several other things that every other society would consider normal, but are seen as disgraceful in South Asian culture.
Occasionally, they might find out things about the aunty, such as the fact that she has a 23 year old unmarried daughter, and use that to blackmail her into moving away from them.
At some point during the game, the Aunty comes across the Golden Boy. The green-eyed, light skinned, CEO of a business with a foreign passport. This is when the entire game dynamic switches around, as it turns into a rat race to get married to the dreamy Mr. Right.
The girls then start to make their way towards the aunty by flaunting their talents, such as the fact that they pray 5 times a day, or only have female friends.
Only one girl makes it in time to marry this Golden Boy, and the rest are hitched off to the mama’s boys and womanisers who believe that they’re God’s gift to humanity.
It is best when played with 3-4 players
What’s in the box:
1 Aunty mover
3 Teenage Girl movers
4 Potential Suitors
1 Golden Boy
Deck of Aunty cards (printed with an offset Metallic Gold colour)
Deck of Girls cards (printed with an offset Metallic Gold colour)
Deck of Golden Boy cards (printed in Gold Foil)
Ideal Characteristics cards
Manufacturing and production schedule:
The entire game will be printed and manufactured by in Pakistan, in order to help support small businesses.The printing press has sent over samples and we will be going into production in Mid-September.
The game will be packaged and finalised in November, and shipped out in December. (Please allow 3 weeks for shipping as it will be coming from Pakistan)
If the project reaches $9000 I will be donating a percentage of the proceeds towards children's education in Pakistan, in hopes that it will help provide girls with the education and independence needed to avoid an arranged marriage.
Who I'm doing this for:
I'm doing this for all the women out there in abusive and loveless marriages.
For the women who were forced into marrying a man twice their age.
Although a game cannot change the world, I am hopeful that by discussing the problems these societies face, they might start to realise how flawed these norms are and eventually work towards fixing it.
I also believe that this game will provide women with creative ways to avoid their own arranged marriages as well as empower them to not be afraid to pursue things such as an education, a career or a love marriage.
Risks and challenges
Due to occasional unforeseen events, it is common for board game production to be delayed. However, I am speaking to printing presses and doing all I can to ensure that this game will be delivered on time if funded.
The costs of international shipping are also extremely high. I'm offering worldwide shipping so that this game can reach a wider audience, but in doing so, I am risking the possibility of spending more than my budgeted shipping costs.
With your help, I can have the funds to manufacture the game, overcome any obstacles that may be in the way, and make sure you are delivered a quality product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)