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OFF BEAT: Board game leaves earthquake recovery to chance


A new board game aims to portray the difficulties of rebuilding a home in the aftermath of an earthquake.

Siobhan Grimshaw, of Christchurch, New Zealand, created Quakes and Ladders after speaking with neighbors about the frustrations and difficulties when dealing with insurance issues that came to light after last year’s earthquake in Christchurch, Ms. Grimshaw said in a news report last week.

“So often, with the insurance side of things, it feels like we’re making progress. They make lots of promises, and then we find ourselves back at square one,” she said.

Aside from the real-life implications of earthquake and disaster recovery, the game, which is similar to the popular board game Snakes and Ladders or Chutes and Ladders, is a fun way to deal with difficult situations, according to the game’s website.

While moving their game pieces around closed roads and damaged areas, players attempt to repair or build their homes after an earthquake while dealing with challenges and potential setbacks from the Earthquake Commission and insurance companies.

“It’s funny playing a game you’re playing in real life, but I was also surprised at the emotions I felt,” Ms. Grimshaw said in the news report. “This game symbolizes the way it feels to deal with these insurance issues.”