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Winners Chosen in Board Game Contest

May 10, 2016

A card game called Hide 'n' Peek won the Grand Prize at the inaugural Lizzie Magie Board Game Contest in Macomb.  16 entries were submitted.

Detail from the game Hide 'n' Peek
Credit Rich Egger

Hide ‘n’ Peek was created by Melinda Daniels and Ben Stitzel, who were not present at the awards ceremony held at the West Central Illinois Arts Center on the courthouse square.  But many of the other game makers were present along with family and friends, and the judges were on hand too.

“It (Hide ‘n’ Peek) is a fun game. It doesn’t take a long time,” said contest judge Chris Morrow. “We laughed a lot when we played it, the judges. We had a good time judging all the games but this one was a lot of fun too.”

Morrow is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Western Illinois University, where he teaches board games in his New Media class. Morrow said he’s also done some academic work on Shakespearian board games, and he said he’s a regular at The Kozmic Game Emporium, which organized the contest. 

Adam Kozlowski (left) with one of the contest judges, Sam Parker
Credit Rich Egger

The contest was named in honor of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie.  She was born in Macomb the year after the Civil War ended.  Magie is credited with creating “The Landlord’s Game,” which eventually became “Monopoly.”

The awards ceremony was held on May 9 to mark Magie’s 150th birthday.  Adam Kozlowski, owner of The Kozmic Game Emporium, intends to turn the contest into an annual event.

“I was super excited by the turnout this year and we hope to get more next year,” he said.

In addition to the Grand Prize, winners were named in three age categories: contestants ages 12 and younger, ages 13 to 18, and ages 19 and up.

Neil Baird, who is also an Associate Professor of English at WIU and Director of its Writing Center, won in the latter category for his game, Tenure.

Detail from the game of Tenure.
Credit Rich Egger

Baird said he and a group of fellow educators came up with the concept during a conference.

“Many of us had just been through the tenure process, and we were also learning about empathy games, serious games that help you understand what it’s like to go through a certain experience,” Baird said.

“We got to talking about the experience of tenure so we tried to create a game around it.”