Here is a question that several partners have asked about the Game:
“FLIGBY is an award-winning leadership game, in which the action takes place in California. All FLIGBY characters are white. Isn’t the USA – which is the reference point of the Game – a multi-ethnic society? Shouldn’t the Game – noted otherwise for its realism – not have black, Asian, or some other ethnic characters, too?”
We, the architects of FLIGBY, have been receiving justifiable criticism from around the world for featuring only white characters in the Game.
If any of the characters would be non-white, then the many conflicts that the Game is about – none of them having to do with race – might be blurred by a possible racial interpretation.
The criticism is justified, for example, by the fact that several successful California wineries are known to be owned by blacks. And also by the fact that a significant segment of the workforce employed by Californian wineries are Mexicans, who migrate northward during the grape-harvest season.
Yes, we had considered the issue of whether to incorporate multi-ethnic characters in FLIGBY. Rightly or wrongly, we decided against introducing such characters, for the following reason.
Much of the Game is about the dilemmas presented by a slew of sharp, personal conflicts among the eight characters featured in FLIGBY. Conflicts arise, for example, from differences in functional responsibilities (ex: sales manager who is concerned mainly with revenue maximization versus chief winemaker who wants to produce only top-quality brands), contrasting business strategies (ex: focus on the kind of wines for which a giant order is in sight versus on the kinds of quality wines on which Turul wants to buttress its reputation), and from divergent personalities and motivations (ex: relaxed and easy-going vs. hard-driving and committed).
By putting the player – Turul Winery’s new General Manager – into such conflict situations, we wanted to call attention to those often-encountered and therefore realistic dilemmas that – if unresolved – would severely constrain the performance of any organization.
It was the judgment of FLIGBY’s architects that if any of the featured characters would be non-white, then the many conflicts that the Game is about – none of them having to do with race – might be blurred by a possible racial interpretation that some players could read into certain situations.
Incidentally, the Game does not shy away from addressing issues of discrimination, for example, age discrimination. This happens when a younger female manager is excoriating an elderly subordinate more on the basis of age and less on the basis of performance.
The architects of FLIGBY continuously review and modify features of the Game, taking into account the suggestions received.