Japanese Island Transformed Into Life-Sized Board Game

Japanese Island Transformed Into Life-Sized Board Game

Tourism board uses a classic game to inject new interest in an island’s economy.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 14 june 2013

Just how accurate is the Game of LIFE? It looks like we’re about to find out.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of LIFE being released in Japan, Yoron Island – located north of Okinawa – is converting the entire island into a two-month long, life-sized contest. Complete with spinners, fake money, and a bus to shuttle players around the island, the tourism board of Yoron is hoping to make the island a visitor hotspot this summer.


Being held from July 20-September 16, players will be provided an allotment of play money and a map showing where the board pieces are located – all for a mere $5. Players can then spin one of four game wheels on the island to receive their next directive and proceed with the game. At the end of the game, players can redeem their leftover money for gift certificates and prizes. (There’s no million-dollar prize, but no one leaves empty handed).


The inspiration for the campaign came after a power outage forced the head of Yoron’s Chamber of Commerce, Takanori Iwamoto, to entertain guests with board games, at which point he realized the island looked like the “hill” that holds the game’s spinner. Known as Jinsei Gemu, the Game of LIFE enjoys wide popularity in Japan.

A website is currently in the works for the event, which will provide further information and details. This is certainly an interesting idea for a small, tourism dependent economy, and will likely spur copycats if successful.

Images via Hasbro and Yoron Chamber of Commerce

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