Murder in the Illini Union: Whodunit?

All the usual suspects will be congregating at the Illini Union this Friday the 13th.

In honor of the eerie date, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White will be joining Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum and Mr. Green for a life-size version of “Clue.” As part of Friday’s Illinites, the six characters will be acting out the classic murder mystery board game for any team of detectives who feels like rolling the dice.

“It’s something that hasn’t been done before at Illinites,” said Mara Dahlgren, the Illini Union Board director in charge of planning for Illinites and sophomore in LAS. “We thought this would be something different and something interactive.”

Beginning at 9 p.m., students will put their detective skills and dice-throwing talents to good use as they navigate the Illini Union Board’s version of Mr. Boddy’s mansion. The regal nine-room mansion displayed in the original “Clue” game board will be mapped out in a maze of tape, identifiable by special-tailored interior design.

“We’ll have a piano in the ballroom, leather couches for the living room, pots and pans for the kitchen and some special plants in the conservatory,” Dahlgren said, adding that the billiard room would be complete with a pool table.

The Illini Union Board took advantage of the extensive collection of props amassed for fall and spring musical productions. This includes some dangerous weaponry – a fake revolver, blunt dagger, length of rope, wrench, candlestick and lead pipe.

With six different suspects, nine rooms and six murder weapons, the game has 324 possible solutions.

Those observing the murder mystery will get the chance to make an accusation beforehand – a correct guess earns a special prize.

Beyond the board

In anticipation of the life-size “Clue” game, The Daily Illini took to the streets to find out what other board games students would like to see played in a “real life” scale.

Peggy Somers, junior in ACES, said she would like to meet a specific board game character, “the Monopoly guy,” also known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, in person.

The game has, in fact, been played life-size before. In 2003, Harrah’s Hotel-Casino in Reno, Nev. awarded $100,000 to the first person to pass “Go.”

Rick Hausmann, sophomore in Business, said he would like to see the Wizard Chess from Harry Potter played on campus.

“Like real chess, but you have to hurt each other,” Hausmann said.

Sophie Somers, sophomore in ACES, also thought a vengeance-inspired board game would be fun to see acted out. Somers said a life-size “Sorry” would be entertaining.

“Bumping somebody out and then having them try to get revenge would be fun,” Somers said.

Christy Parks gave a “sweeter” answer. The junior in Media said she would like to see a life-size “Candy Land” set up so she could travel through different terrains – from Gum Drop Mountain to the Candy Cane Forest. Parks said she would enjoy the game territory controlled by Lord Licorice.

Amy Huang, sophomore in LAS, said she would like to see the campus designed for a round of “The Game of Life.”

Brightly colored plastic automobiles full of blue and pink “people pegs” crisscrossing the sidewalks of the Quad may cause problems, but Huang said the marriages would be entertaining “because you would have to have a chapel on the Quad.”

Niki Talati, sophomore in LAS, had a few ideas for life-size board games.

“‘Guess Who’ would be great – fifty different people standing there and the players having to describe them,” Taleti said.

Talati said a life-size “Chutes and Ladders” could make some lively action.

“If it was played, you’d have people running up and down ladders the whole time,” she said.