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If you are a board game aficionado, chances are that you are familiar with America's oldest board game - Game of Life, which as the name indicates mimics our lives starting from when we are young all the way to retirement. Now, Japan's remote Yoron Island is transforming itself into a full-size version of the board game - One where fans can participate and experience their entire lives in about seven weeks.
The idea is the brainchild of Takanori Iwamoto, the head of Yoron's Chamber of Commerce, who said he first thought of it in 2012, when the island was barraged by a series of typhoons. The residents lost power for a few days and the only form of entertainment available was board games. It was while playing the Game of Life that it occurred to Iwamoto that the shape of their island was very similar to that of the game's uniquely shaped spinner.
Looking for a way to raise funds so that the island can rebuild itself after the devastation caused by the violent storms, he wondered if he could use its unusual shape to create a life-sized game board and invite tourists to come play. He shared the idea with the other committee members and once they all concurred, approached toymaker Takara Tomy, who agreed to sponsor the event to mark the 45th anniversary of the introduction of Game of Life or Jinsei Gemu in Japan.
The real-life adventure will begin on July 20th and continue until September 19th. Fans wishing to play the game will have to pay an admission fee of $5 USD to enter the 'game island', which just like the board game will be divided into four sections, each with its own spinner and game board. Upon entering, the players will be provided with a map, clues about the tasks assigned to them and some fake money to get started.
In order to make it easier for the players to go from one section to another, a shuttle bus decorated to resemble the player pins will also be made available. And while there is no million-dollar prize being awarded to people that complete the game, any leftover money at the end of the seven week long adventure, can be converted into gift certificates for use on the island. We sure hope that enough fans flock to this tiny island, so that its 5,000 residents can re-build their lives again.
Resources: news.yahoo.com, today.com