Huffing and puffing, you step into Chennai Central; your journey into this bustling city has just begun.
Using only public transport, with the limited resources that you have, you need to go all the way to Perambur. But wait, there are more obstacles. Not traffic, not strikes — to move forward, you need to answer a series of trivia questions about old Madras.
And that’s the idea behind The Great Madras Trip, a board game conceptualised by Masquerade, a performance group. The game will be open for beta testing at The Board Room (a gaming lounge and café), on Madras Day.
- On the map of Chennai, participants (in teams of two or three) will be given cards to choose from six different entry points into the city, such as Egmore and Central railway stations, Koyambedu bust stop, or Chennai Airport. The destination will depend on the starting point, and they can roll the dice to move forward. The catch: with their limited resources, they can only use four modes of public transport, ie, bus, MRTS, Metro Rail and suburban local train. How quickly they can move, depends on how well they can answer trivia questions on the heritage of Madras.
“We wanted to design something that tests your knowledge of this city’s heritage and history, and at the same time, also tests how well you can navigate through the city of Chennai,” says Karthik Kumar, director, Masquerade. Karthik and his team had been brainstorming about a game like this, before another Madras Day, nearly 10 years ago. “We had started thinking of a board game in which someone could travel across Chennai, and discover the city’s facets through quizzes,” he says.
A decade later, the idea has come to fruition, and the team will be introducing this game to the public for the first time. Interestingly, the team has not finalised an actual board for the game yet, so the players at The Board Room will be playing on a large map of Chennai. The board when designed, will also be a map of Chennai, reveals Karthik.
Another key idea while designing the game was to emphasise on the use of public transport. “If more people use public transport, it will not only be better for the environment, but will also force the Government to make public transport more accessible,” he says.
Around a month ago, the team met the founders of The Board Room to play the game with them. “The Masquerade team brought this game to our attention, and said they wanted to release it on Madras Day,” says Shravan Santosh, one of the founders of The Board Room. “Over the last month, we have got to know them well, and have tried the game out a couple of times here.”
Other than this, The Board Room, will also be hosting city-based board games, such as ones on Istanbul and New Orléans, for the next coming days.
The Great Madras Trip will be launched at The Board Room, Mylapore, tonight. The first game slot starts at 7 pm. Contact 9840628843.