Game Loft News

Testing the Fugitive Slave Law: MLK Game Loft Event a Success!

mlk57 The Game Loft’s mock trial involving the Fugitive Slave Law achieved new heights of role playing excitement and education. Under guidance of guest bailiff (and honorable judge) Susan Longley, Game Loft member Nathan presided over the case, set in the historically pivotal year 1858. James and John Williams the teenaged defendants accused of willfully harboring and transporting a fugitive slave, “Gus”, in an attempt to expedite his escape to Canada.

Belfast's Unitarian Universalist Church provided the perfect venue for the occasion.

Taran and Madryn battled for patronage among the politically-minded onlookers, hawking opposing political newspapers including the abolitionist “New Salem Gazette” and the states’ rights “Dalais Democrat.”

Trial audience members became impassioned as well; Charles Erb and Neil Peterson disrupted the proceedings with loud outbursts against the evils of slavery. Police Captain Rio escorted the protestors outside of the courtroom to a temporary holding cell.

Prosecuting attorney Jim Munch called three witnesses, including Deputy Marshall Max Delaney, local deputy Andrew Knight, and the director of a cooperage and casket making company, Kali Rocheleau. Defense attorney Irwin Brown elected not to call any witnesses, advising his clients to plead the Fifth Amendment when called. He rested his case on the alleged inability of the prosecution to prove without a doubt the guilt of the accused.

While the jury deliberated, audience members and participants had the option of sitting in on the deliberations or, alternatively, participating in a Restorative Justice Project circle discussion, led by Kali Rocheleau.

The jury’s verdict of not-guilty seemed to agree with Mr. Brown’s conclusion, although the jury issued a statement following the verdict indicating suspicion of the accused being used as pawns by some other, perhaps older, unnamed abolitionist party.

Despite weather conditions, the event was an unabashed success, with approximately 50 people in attendance. It marks the first in what will become an annual MLK tradition for the Game Loft. Next year, we're considering the possibility of period costumes for the key roles.

The Game Loft Celebrates Martin Luther King Day

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On Monday, January 18 The Game Loft will be closed, in order to present a living history event in honor of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. From 1:30-4:00pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Belfast (37 Miller St.) there will be a mock trial discussing the issues of the Fugitive Slave Law of the 1850’s. The case will examine the impact of a runaway slave on a small Maine town. Although the case is fictional, the issues it raises concerning human rights, civil disobedience, and civil rights have lessons not only in history but in contemporary life. A discussion period led by the Restorative Justice Program will follow the re-enactment. The event is free and open to the public. There are parts available for interested community members. This community event was made possible by a grant from the Maine Commission on Community Service. For more information, please contact Kali Rocheleau at the Game Loft at 338-6447 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flames of War

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Saturday, December 5th, the Game Loft had the pleasure of hosting guest moderator Bill Jenkins and his sons, Bill and Colin, as they introduced members of both the Game Loft and the community to this World War II miniatures game.The successful event offered an intergenerational alternative to the outside hubub of Belfast's biggest shopping day of the year. Many of the younger participants are involved in World War II studies in school, and this event gave them some insight into the unfolding events of such an important and defining chapter in global history. Members of Game loft and the community have demanded an encore performance, and the Game Loft  eagerly awaits welcoming Bill Jenkins and his assistants again in the future.

Boffing in Augusta!

 

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The Augusta Teen Center hosted a "boffing" tournament, Thursday, November 12, attended by Game Loft Days of Arthur players and other interested Game Loft members.

Boffing is a gaming/re-enactment activity that involves the use of foam and latex weapons. The members of the Augusta Teen Center were very gracious to Game Loft staff, volunteers, and members; only ten minutes into the two organization member groups' initial meeting of the minds, Game Loft staff member Max Delaney observed, "Well, I think they've bonded." This is a testament to the friendliness on all sides - and it made the competitive tournament all the more fun.

We hope this is the beginning of a long tradition of death-or-glory swordfights between the Game Loft and the Augusta Teen Center; many thanks to the ATC staff, members, and volunteers for hosting and participating in such a fun event. Check out the photos, displayed in the Game Loft's photo gallery, to glimpse the excitement!

 

Thank You, Key Bank Chefs!

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The Game Loft welcomed Key Bank staff members Carol Chase, Denise Fakal, Andy Grover, Gail Small, and Margaret Webb on Friday, November 6th, for the weekly celebrity chef program. They prepared delicious spaghetti with meat sauce, and even offered an alternative vegetarian sauce. The salad was fresh and crisp, the garlic bread buttery, and the brownies, scrumptious. We are so thankful for their wonderful contribution to this unique community volunteer opportunity!

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