Life a game of Quakes and Ladders

16:00, Dec 14 2012
left, Sonja Wegener, Jocelyn Paprall and Sonja’s children, Lennart, 11, and Annabella, 5.
PRETEND TIME: Playing Quakes and Ladders are from left, Sonja Wegener, Jocelyn Paprall and Sonja’s children, Lennart, 11, and Annabella, 5. They are neighbours of the game’s designers.

Earthquake recovery has become more fun with the launch of board game Quakes and Ladders.

Can you achieve your repairs or rebuild, or will the Earthquake Commission lose your scope of works? Beat the insurance tsars with a spin of the dice.

Siobhan Grimshaw came up with the idea for the game after talking to her Mt Pleasant neighbours about dealing with insurance issues.

She said, like many other people in Christchurch, they had their hopes raised and then dashed.

Grimshaw was struck by how much her insurance battle resembled a game of Snakes and Ladders.

"We've moved seven times since the February quake. Our house is in limbo land," she said.


"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."

While the underlying messages within the game were real, she saw Quakes and Ladders as a way of injecting fun into a difficult situation, while recognising - and empathising with - the many challenges Cantabrians faced.

"I came up with the idea about four weeks ago. I played Quakes and Ladders for the first time with friends last week," she said.

"We were laughing a lot. It's funny playing a game you're playing in real life, but I was also surprised at the emotions I felt. This game symbolises the way it feels to deal with these insurance issues."

The counters are nuts and bolts, and competitors move their pieces around closed roads and demolitions and battle insurance companies to win the game.

Quakes and Ladders is being sold at the gift shop at the Christchurch Art Gallery and at HAPA in the Re:Start mall for $25, or online for $20.

"I want this to be a fundraiser as much as possible for local charities and community groups."

The Press