A sampling of games with themes related to anthropology:

Board/Card Games

  • Cards Against Anthropology: “A shameless rip off of the game Cards Against Humanity” designed to promote classroom discussion of ethical challenges faced by anthropologists.
  • First Nations of Catan: A set of modified rules for Settlers of Catan in which one player plays as the First Nations, the indigenous inhabitants of Catan, attempting to address the erasure of indigenous people in the original game.
  • The Gift of Food: A board game about traditional Northwest Native foods by the Northwest Indian College.
  • Loy Loy: Each player takes the role of a Cambodian garment factory worker while contributing to their local savings group. You could think of Loy Loy as a sharing economy version of Monopoly. Playtest report from #AnthropologyCon 2017
  • Potlatch: A strategic, educational card game based on indigenous philosophies, developed as a community effort with local elders and language experts.
  • Yams!: A strategy card game set in the 1890s Trobriand Islands, where players compete to “bargain, steal and charm their way to the top through numerous yam harvests.” Unfortunately, Yams! is out of print.


  • Canned: A game about the often meaningless and always painful process of getting laid off, Canned by Alex Rowland depicts the ways in which workers are denied their humanity and defined by their economic output before extending a hand to build them back up.
  • Dim Sum? More Like Git Sum: Game about family dynamics, played around a dim sum table
  • #Feminism: Written by feminists from eleven different countries, #Feminism offers bite-sized takes on contemporary feminist issues. Each of the 34 nano-games in this collection requires between three and five participants, simple (if any) props, and up to an hour of play time.
  • One Year: One Year is about a community of people trying to create something beautiful
  • Polka Pillow Production: Slovenian folk dancing and Warsaw Pact era worker’s co-ops
  • Torch: Players gain insight into colonialism and its often ugly aftermath. When the torch goes out, a story ends and a new one begins…
  • Under a Broken Flag: a near-future America that is not just in decline, but in collapse – and as players we are not in a position to fix anything, merely mitigate the damage as best we can.
  • The We-Ness: The We-Ness is a game where players take part in becoming a small colony through language. Through experimenting and restricting the “I” when speaking with one another, The We-Ness creates a singular organism with its players.
  • Winter Counts: A process that gets people thinking about where they have been as process of growth and history and affirmation.

Tabletop Role-Playing Games

  • Dialect: A game About Language and How it Dies: In this game, you’ll tell the story of the Isolation by building their language. New words will come from the fundamental aspects of the community: who they are, what they believe in, and how they respond to a changing world.
  • Ehdrigohr: The Roleplaying Game Culturally, Ehdrigohr is a non-traditional fantasy world. Rather than fantasy seen through a Euro-Medieval lens, Ehdrigohr is instead crafted to take inspiration from the myth and folklore of tribal, and indigenous, cultures from around the world.
  • Ganakagok  A fantasy where characters are members of a tribe that lives in a night-time world on an island of ice who must deal with the coming of the Dawn and the changes it brings. Each session produces an authentic-seeming myth of an imaginary people.

Digital Games

  • Coyote Quest (Web): A point-and-click adventure game for the web based on Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
  • Honour Water (iOS): An Anishinaabe singing game for healing water.
  • Invaders (Web, iOS, Android): A spin on the classic arcade game Space Invaders
  • Ngurrara (iOS): Ngurrara follows the journeys of three young Australian Aboriginal Ngarluma men as they fish, hunt and carve their own stories.
  • Ninagamomin ji-nanaandawi’iwe (We Sing for Healing) (web): A musical choose-your-own adventure text game
  • Singuistics (iOS): A singing game which passes on language featuring singing by the Miskwaasining Nagamojig
  • Warlu Song (iOS): Continuing the Australian Aboriginal oral tradition, this story was originally dreamt by a blind songsmith and is here sung in Yindjibarndi and spoken in English in an effort to continue passing it on.