Game of Life comes to life in Creston, GR

BIG RAPIDS, MICH. (WOOD) – A West Michigan nonprofit is giving a classic game an exciting twist in hopes of promoting art and economic development in the Creston neighborhood of Grand Rapids.

The After Dark game is essentially a Grand Rapids edition of the Game of Life, but it’s more than just a board game.

“It takes you through the neighborhoods learning what’s going on in the neighborhoods and with the people doing some really cool things that could be a little more underground,” said Hannah Berry, executive director of Lion and Rabbit Arts Center.

Berry works extensively with small businesses and entrepreneurs in Creston. She said the whole idea came from the question, what is the arts as economic development?

After Dark the Game was designed by Kim Nguyen, commissioned by Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts

Two years ago a local artist named Kim nguyen was tasked with illustrating a board game replicating the game of life and recently Lions and Rabbits brought the game to life on the streets.

There are “learning libraries” outside of Lions and Rabbits with small game boards and dice, free for everyone. 534 colorful squares are painted along the sidewalk in a mile-long loop through the Creston neighborhood. For each number, there is a task.

“These are real things to do in Creston. Some of them cost money, some don’t, ”Berry said. “It’s just about trying to get people to understand what we’re doing in Creston and all the new businesses.”

Duties include things like checking out happy hour at Graydon’s Crossing, paying for it at Sparrows Coffee, watching a sunset on Sweet Street, or picking up trash.

There are over 500 colorful painted squares along a one mile loop in the Creston neighborhood of GR.

Anyone who plays the game in person can create an Instagram trailer and tag @afterdarkgr for each task completed. Players will receive points for a raffle at the end of the New Year that includes prizes like an Airbnb stay or even a free wedding.

“I hope this and public art gets people to walk, improve their quality of life, and show what we’re doing here,” Berry said.

You can visit this site to purchase a physical board game. All proceeds go directly to the After Dark program to fund more public art. You can find the rules for playing the game in person online.

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Raymond I. Langston

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