The Arrival: The Board Game


When we were given the option of doing a creative response to one of the books we had read in the Materials for Young Adults class, I had no doubt that was what I wanted to do, though it was much later I finally decided to make a board game based on Shaun Tanís The Arrival. The Arrival was initially appealing to me because of its beautiful and imaginative setting. For me, the city and landscape of The Arrival produced an interesting combination of curiosity, wonder, loneliness, disorientation, and awe. I also loved that the book lacked any recognizable language, giving it a sense of universality. While my first reading of The Arrival was my motivation for turning it into a game, the making of the game affected how I read the book, both during the process and afterwards. I had varying degrees of success in replicating what I loved about the book in the game. Even though the experience of reading the book is significantly different from that of playing the game, for me this project highlighted how even just one person can read the same story in so many ways.

I used several images from The Arrival when I was making the board game. I would like to extend my thanks to Shaun Tan and his agent Sophie Byrne at Passion Pictures Australia for granting me permission to use the images from The Arrival as part of my capping exercise.

This site was created by Hayley Dolman.
Last updated: March 6, 2009.

Images from The Arrival by Shaun Tan (published by Arthur A. Levine Books) used with permission.