International Games Week October 29 – November 4

Live Clue Game

Posted on April 14, 2015

Our guest post this week is from librarian Jonathan Dolce, the Head of the Children’s Library at Athens-Clare County Library. His professional library career began in 2000 at the Volusia County Library system, where he worked as a young adult librarian and earned their Employee of Year commendation. He later spent four years as Head of Youth Services for Maitland Public Library. He keeps active in the professional librarian community by presenting break-out sessions and by taking part in poster sessions at FLA and the 2015 GCBA convention.

I based my teen program on the popular board game Clue, but I made it Live Clue.

The game setup was cheap but took time and required a large room. To set the stage, our auditorium has a linoleum tile floor, each tile being a square foot. Using colored masking tape, I mapped out the floor of the auditorium to be identical to the Clue game board's rooms inside the mansion and outlined the squares for the game pieces to move. Then I added life-sized furniture to each of the mansion's rooms. I also recreated the game cards, increasing the size of the game cards to 8 x 11, and issued clipboards to the players to hold their clues.  Clue board

My trip to the Goodwill store yielded inexpensive costumes and accessories for each of the six players in colors that matched their character names: Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Reverend Green, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum.  Our local police station donated evidence tags and fingerprinting accessories that added to the experience. The players used life-sized weapons for the game's markers - quite literally I gathered a big plumber's wrench, a cap gun (with caps!), a thick rope, a dagger (a plastic sword that I cut down to dagger-size), a lead pipe and a massive brass candlestick holder. The photo below shows all of my game props.

Live Clue Materials

The game play was identical to the original game except that live players replaced the markers. I played a butler who was their game host and I ensured proper game play. In the photo above, I'm holding a candlestick with a large foam die; after a roll, the players would move one tile at a time, just like in regular game play. Also in the photo is Kristen Arnett, my assistant, who was Ms. Scarlett, and Dylan, Brianna and Emily, who are also in costume and holding their game cards.

Half the teens had to wait their turn to play the game. While waiting, they played some board games, watched the Live Clue game and enjoyed eating pizza and drinking soda.

Playing Live Clue at Athens Clare County Library

The game winners all received a Clue game and all other attendees/participants simply won the right to eat and drink all of the refreshments.

Sounds like fun? It was!

Submitted by Jonathan Dolce, Athens-Clarke County Library

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    1. This sounds wonderful! I would love to get some more information on how to replicate this for my teens in my library system.

      • This program can be as complicated or simple as you like. I purchased “costumes”, basically different coats and jackets the same colors as the characters in the game from Good Will. If you tell the GoodWill people what you are up to, they might give you a discount. Mrs. White got a lab coat, Colonel Mustard got a jacket that looks like a safari coat, etc. The Professor Plum coat comes in handy for playing The Joker! Also got lifesized weapons from “around”, like the rope I already had in my garage, the candlestick came from Good Will, the revolver from Walmart, the knife from Dollar Tree, etc. Then! You need masking tape to mark off where each of the rooms are, but not necessarily every square. Inside each “room” you can get creative, adding furniture or props to represent the room. One visual pun I did was for the Ball Room, well, I put a bunch of balls in it! The kitchen got our toy kitchen from the kid’s section, the billiard room got a table with green construction paper for the felt, a print out of the billiard balls and a pvc pipe cut to length and decorated to look like a billiard cue. Are you getting the idea?! Also, each player got a paper circle for their “marker”, so if they accidentally step away from their circle, they can remember where they were. If you do not have a square tile format to the floor, then kids can use their feet, with each step representing a square on the board. I let them move diagonally, too, so it goes faster. I played the part of an investigator (dressed up like a detective from Law ‘n’ Order). Also, printed out giant sized cards to present the cards from the game, and each participant got a clipboard to hold their notepads and cards. You play it just like the board game, which I also picked up from Good Will. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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