I am the designer and developer of "Vatican" the new papal election board game published in the United States by The College of DuPage Press. "Vatican" is the only simulation/game of any kind that is structured around a papal election. More information can be found at www.vaticanboardgame.com
I first got the idea for Vatican from teaching a university course on the history of the Catholic Church. Most of my students were Catholic and I realized they new little or nothing about the inner dynamics of the church. About the same time, I began studying game theory and started designing my own video games for my courses. These games proved successful and students liked them so I began to think about a commercial product that eventually resulted in the publication of "Vatican" in December 2006.
In "Vatican" players take the role of a cardinal and play to accumulate influence and offices necessary to become real candidates for pope. The second part of the game takes place after the pope's death and simulates the run-up to the papal election and the third part simulates the conclave itself. The winner becomes pope. The game takes about one hour and fifteen minutes. The game is designed to be exciting until the very end since no players are actually eliminated and all have a chance to win right through to the conclave.
"Vatican" is a unique product which could interest gamers as well as those interested in the Catholic Church. Any person interesed in both board games and the church would find it fascinating.
Stephen Haliczer Ph.D.