Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gaming in Rauner

A fabric label for "Life, Life, Eternal Life."
From time to time we come across an author that so distorts the typical conception of a "book" that we wonder--is this really a book at all? Angela Lorenz is one such author. Life, Life, Eternal Life: Uncle Wiggily Meets the Pilgrim’s Progress, Lorenz's "book" not a traditional book at all, but a handmade board game. As the title suggests, this board game is a meeting of the classic 334 year old Christian Parable, The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan and the board game Uncle Wiggily.

In this game, players take turns drawing cards and moving their pieces along the board following Christian's journey from the City of Destruction, Bunyan's earth, to the Celestial City, Bunyan's heaven. Similar to Uncle Wiggily, players receive help or hindrance from characters in Bunyan’s story--from Faithful, Christian's companion and friend, to Beelzebub, a devil who guards the road to heaven and shoots arrows at anyone who tries to pass. Players must also compete in a number of tasks--from a game of musical chairs, or "Going to Jerusalem," to a game of croquet, where players must hit their playing pieces through the Wicket Gate to begin their journey, to target practice using a handmade catapult, to spinning a teetorum, a sort of Christian dreidel, to cross over the River of Death.

A photograph of a stitched game board.
A photograph of a stitched game board.A photograph of a stitched game board.
"Why play this game at all?" Lorenz asks. "Well, in doing so you can get the gist of the biggest best seller next to the Bible and martyrologies for the last 300 years, one of the few books found for two centuries in many American parlors." And it's one of the most fun books in Rauner! So bring your friends, stop by, and ask for Presses L876loli.

Posted for Ben Ferguson '15

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