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Artist's new board game spotlights serial killers

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SEATTLE -- A controversial new board game puts some of the most infamous serial killers in history back in the spotlight.

The Serial Killer Trivia Game features Ted Bundy, the Green River Killer Gary Ridgway and Spokane's serial killer Robert Yates. The game places the players in the middle of some of the most notorious cases of our time with a roll of a dice.

"You would land on the victim's house and once you do that, you would grab a trivia card and attempt to answer it correctly in order to claim the victim," said Ryan Hobson, the game's creator.

The game, like any other board game, involves moving player pieces around the board and coming across a variety of scenarios. But he scenarios in the serial killer game involves killing.

"'BTK strangler' stands for 'bind, torture, kill.' So if you got the question right, you would claim one of these victims, the little baby."

The plastic babies are color-coated to match the killer (or player) who claims them.

Hobson does not attempt to make light of what he's doing.

"I realize it could be offensive to a lot of people. I didn't intend it that way," he said.

Hobson says he created the game as an art piece.

"And I don't feel that art's job is to always be tasteful," he said.

The creator says the game avoids focusing on the victims and he insists he's not trying to glorify the killers.

"They're icons, I didn't make them that way, I'm not the one who did the news stories on them, I'm not the one that wrote novels about them," he said.

Since the killers' stories have already inspired video games, Hobson believes a board game is a next step.

"I think that there is a fascination. For me, I think a lot of it is that I don't understand the mindset that would create a serial killer," he said.

The game is currently on display at the Vermilion Gallery in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Hobson has contacted two publishing games abut the game, but has had no takers so far.

More information:

Ryan Hobson's Web site

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