Migrant’s path

Migrant’s path is a board game for minimum three players, in which the player’s goal is to pass through all the difficulties that migrants go through in their journeys and to reach the ultimate goal – the new country with new life and new opportunities for them. There is no maximum number of players because the more migrants’ stories that we have in the game, the more players we can have playing it. The game is suitable for people over 15 years old because some of the stories and obstacles in the game could be misunderstood correctly from the youngsters or considered being unfair for their players.

In order to create the square board, we have used the following map but adding to it the name of  the countries:

Each player draws one card with personal migrant’s story on it. On the card, it is written the starting point and the end point of the player’s journey. It’s written also the amount of money which every player has to start their journey. After drawing the card, every player reads their stories to the others so that everyone could be aware of them. Till now, we have 6 migrants’ stories created with total 3 starting points: 2 from Mali, 2 from Syria and 2 from Afghanistan.

The stories

From Mali:

  • You’re a young girl from Mali. You were abducted by terrorists, but you managed to escape  from captivation. You want to seek refuge in the Netherlands. You only have EUR 4500 for your journey. Use them well!
  • You’re a citizen of Mali. The Boko Haram made a terroristic attack in your city. In order to protect yourself and your family, you decide to take refuge in Denmark. You have only EUR 5000 for your journey. Use them well!

From Syria:

  • You’re a citizen of Syria. You were a soldier in the Syrian army. You didn’t want to obey to some orders and you deserted the army. Fearing for your life, you decided to leave Syria and go to Germany. You have only EUR 7000 for your journey. Use them well!
  • You’re living in Aleppo, Syria. The fighting in the city has intensified. The army decided to launch a full-scale attack on the city and ordered the civilians to evacuate. Since it has become too dangerous to live in your country, you want to go to live with your cousin in the United Kingdom. You have only EUR 5500 for your journey. Use them well!

From Afghanistan:

  • You’re a citizen of Afghanistan. The Taliban invaded your village and you lost your family. Fearing persecution, you decided to leave Afghanistan and go to Spain where you have an uncle. You have only EUR 6000 for your journey. Use them well!
  • You live and have a business in Afghanistan. You have been threatened many times and the Taliban destroyed your business. Now they threaten you about your children. You decide to sell everything that is left and leave the country with them to save them. You are going to France where you have some old friends. You have only EUR 5000 with you. Use them

Every player has the opportunity to choose through which country they want to pass on their way to the final point (country). While crossing the border with other countries, every participant should draw a card from the three decks, depending on the border which they are passing. There are three decks with three different type of cards:

  • Crossing cards – participants take them while crossing between two countries;
  • Land cards – participants take them on their next turn after taking the crossing card. They only take this card if their crossing the country by land;
  • Sea cards – participants take them on their next turn after taking the crossing card. They only take this card if their crossing the country by sea.

Our three types of cards examples

Land cards (participants take them only when they are passing through the countries by land and before getting to the next border). Some examples of the land cards:

  • You met with a sympathetic local who invites you to a family dinner. He migrated with his family here from your origin country 12 years ago. They offer their help, you can stay here for a few days and feel safe. After that you can continue your journey.
  • You caught a train and you didn’t buy a ticket. The controller wants you to pay a fine or to get out of the train. You can pay EUR 100 and continue your journey or get out of the train and take another land card on your next turn, instead of crossing card. You decide!
  • You found a temporary job in the country and earned pocket money. (here we can decide how much EUR participant will receive from the job) ex. If you miss one turn, you will receive EUR 200 for the work done, if you decide to continue your journey without missing the turn, you will get only EUR 100.
  • You were robbed at the night. You lost half of your money. (ex. if the participant is having EUR 5000, after taking this card, it will have only EUR 2500)
  • Your phone is out of service. You just need to charge it to make it work again and also get new SIM card. The card will cost you EUR 25.
  • You decide to stay for a while in the country. You found a job in one village. You will receive EUR 300 if you stay some days and miss your next turn or you can continue your journey without gaining this money. You decide!
  • After you crossed the border, you went to the nearest city. You tried to find a place to sleep and some food. Unfortunately, some bad guys robbed you. You lost the EUR 300 which were in your pocket.
  • You are starving. You decide to go to the nearest shop and buy some food. On the cash desk in the store, you see some lottery tickets. You decide to buy one just to try your luck. You won a large sum of money so you can move 3 countries ahead with them without taking any cards. On your next turn take a crossing card to enter the country which you choose.

Crossing cards (participants take them only when they are crossing the border between two countries). Some examples of the crossing cards:

  • The border police stop you while crossing the border. They want from you EUR 200 to let you enter the country. You can pay the sum and enter or you can choose another country through which you can pass but you will have to take a new crossing card on your next turn. You decide what to do!
  • The border police attacked you while you were crossing the border because they thought you were an illegal immigrant. Your leg is bleeding and it’s hard for you to walk so you will pass more slowly through the country. On our next 2 turns you have to take land cards. (and on the 3rd turn the participant will take the crossing card)
  • While you enter the country, you meet some good and friendly people who want to help you. On your next turn, miss the sea/land card and go to the next border, taking a crossing card.
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, you have to go 1 country back! Go back to the enter border of the country you came from before getting this country.
  • You’re lucky today. The border police have good news for you! A bus/boat is waiting for all the migrants and will take you straight to the next border. Miss the land/sea card on your next turn and take a crossing card.
  • Go 1 country ahead and take a border card on your next turn to enter the country!
  • The regular army transports you to the next country. You have no opportunity to make any actions in this country, you can act just in the next one. Get another crossing card.

Sea cards (participants take them only when they are passing through the countries by sea and before getting to the next border). Some examples of the sea cards:

  • There was a storm at the night, your boat is stuck at one place and you have to stay there till the next day. Miss a turn!
  • During the boat ride, you decide to throw away at the water the few left documents which you have. Now you have no papers anymore. Hope it won’t be a problem for you while crossing the next borders.
  • Your smuggler asks for extra money. If you pay EUR 100, you will reach the destination. If you don’t pay, he will bring you back to the port of origin and you will have to take a new sea card on your next turn.
  • There are too much people on the boat, so it started to sink. You are waiting for a new boat to come and rescue you. Take 1 more sea card on your next turn!
  • Your boat was about to sink but you were saved by the coast guard. You reach safe your next destination.
  • Your smuggler needs your help in the sea journey. If you help him, you will receive back your money which you paid for the transport (EUR 200).

Many more cards should be invented to avoid repetition of them and to be more interesting and more participants to be involved in the challenges of the cards. When a participant takes one card, he/she will leave it in another pile, so that all cards pass at least once. When the pile with cards finish, participants will mix and start again taking from the mixed pile.

It is important that every participant has a sheet of paper on which he/she writes down the amount of money which they have, how much money they paid for something, how much money they left with. It is possible to have another player whose role in the game will be the “banker” who will write down all this information. This option is appropriate if the participants don’t believe each other and fear that any of them can deceive them.
It also could be invented a different from the cards way that gives the participants the opportunity to gain money if they suffer from a lack of them.
The first participant who gets to the final destination is the winner of the game but the idea of the game is not to have first, second and third winner, but to help all of the migrants (their roles) to get to their final destination and feel safe and happy. After the first participant reach the final point, the other participants continue their game. As much participants are playing the game, the more fun and longer the game will be. It is possible to use pawns or some kind of figures to mark the location of the players.

Game info prepared by: Eva Yoneva. If you have any questions connected to the game, do not hesitate to contact me.
Team, who invented the game: Eva Yoneva, Bogdan Dima, Barbara Szalai, Oğuzhan Demirok, Claudio Tumatis, Alexandra Papadopoulou