The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 6th

Wilson Library hosts its 11th rendition of their live-action game, Clue

Library workers pose as members of the Supernatural Investigation Agency during last spring’s game of Clue. Photo courtesy of Bob Schreiner.
Buy Photos Library workers pose as members of the Supernatural Investigation Agency during last spring’s game of Clue. Photo courtesy of Bob Schreiner.

Over 80 amateur detectives descended upon the aisles of Wilson Library Monday evening to try and solve a Carolina murder mystery, as the library hosts its semi-annual game of Clue. 

The tradition, which started in 2012, allows students to participate in a live, immersive version of the classic mystery board game. Throughout the night, teams of three to five students interrogate suspects, corroborate suspect testimony and examine physical evidence, gaining points along the way, until the top three teams are crowned winners.

Emily Jack, Wilson Library’s community engagement librarian, has worked on all 11 presentations of the game and has seen it transform over the years, even growing large enough to require a mobile app.

“The game is produced by a hard-working committee, each member of which has her or his own role,” Jack said. “I’m one of the game designers, which means that I create and update the challenges within the game and make sure all the pieces fit together.”

But after Monday’s game, Jack won’t have any time to sit back and relax. It’s already time to plan next semester’s mystery.

“On some level, we’re always planning it,” Jack said. “The committee meets year-round with a short break in the summer, and we make updates and improvements to the structure of the game over time. Each individual game takes about two and a half months to plan.”

Because of the massive amount of planning that goes into each game, Jack and the other library workers are only able to have two games per year — which is part of what makes it so special. 

“Personally I think it’s cool that Wilson only does it twice a year because that keeps the event kind of fresh and doesn’t wear it out,” first-year Branson Pigg said. “Also, if they hosted Clue every month instead of once a semester, it would lose its spark and become much less desired by students.” 

Pigg and his friends were lucky enough to secure a spot as one of the 17 teams for this year’s game, and the first-year has high hopes for the results. 

“I think me and the rest of Team Thicc have it in us to be the first team to solve the murder,” Pigg said. “I’m looking forward to just the excitement of piecing together clues and solving basically a real mystery with all of my friends, especially since I’ve always had an interest in mysterious things.”

First-year Julia Cowles isn’t as confident.

“I have no idea if we will be the ones to solve the murder,” Cowles said. “Either it’s going to go really good or really bad. But I’m just looking forward to a fun adventure with some good friends.”

Jack said that her favorite part of the event is the ability to show the library to students from a new perspective, as they almost always discover something new throughout their investigation.  

“We know that Wilson Library can seem mysterious to a lot of students, so we’ve built that mystery up into a game,” Jack said. “But the truth is that there are many reasons for students to spend time in Wilson, from events and exhibitions to great study spaces. Our hope is that while students are solving the mystery of the game, the library itself becomes less mysterious and more familiar, and that students will find lots of reasons to return.”


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