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University launches board game to explain marriage legalities

10 September 2019

by Sophie Ward

A prototype board game to help the public negotiate the complex legal world of marriage has been launched today by the University of Glasgow.

Called Legally Wed, the game has been inspired by the work of Professor Jane Mair, Dr Frankie McCarthy and Felicity Belton from the university’s School of Law. It draws on their research in family law, along with the wedding stories of family and friends, to create the game’s tasks and challenges. The game was also inspired in part by a game made in Pakistan, Nashra Balagamwala’s Arranged!

In the game, the players will race to be the first to plan their wedding and beat the other players up the aisle. Throughout, competitors must choose venues, food, outfits and face all the struggles of planning a modern-day wedding – but also complete all the steps required for a legal marriage. If they do not achieve all the legal stages, they end the day without a spouse.

The academic team worked with Glasgow-based Warrior’s Studio to bring a contemporary graphic design to the research-based game concept, with funding from the Economic & Social Research Council Business Booster Fund to develop their prototype.

Professor Mair, Head of the School of Law, said: “Around 30,000 wedding ceremonies took place in Scotland last year, and with the advent of same sex marriage and legal recognition given to humanist wedding ceremonies, the choice to get married is open to a greater number of couples than ever before.

“However, the legal consequences of marriage – and the legal differences between marriage and long-term cohabitation – are poorly understood. Our research has explored how the law regulating marriage, divorce and cohabitation is applied in practice by the courts, solicitors and other legal practitioners in Scotland."

Dr McCarthy added: “We think this new board game is a great way to help raise public awareness of some of the complexity of the law around marriage.”

The team will continue to develop the prototype and hope it will be available for sale in 2020.

For more information, visit the University of Glasgow website.
 
Picture: Newly Weds Aimee and Warren Crawford as the bride and groom playing the Legally Wed board game in the Courtroom within the University’s School of Law. Credit: Martin Shields.