Last Friday I sent to play-testers 8th scenario for Robinson Crusoe. As you who played this board game know, Robinson Crusoe is some sort of portal to different adventures – each of them very deeply inspired by classic adventure stories created by Julius Verne or his followers. From Castaways scenario till Robinson Family, each scenario was inspired by one of great books or movies of this great genre.
8th scenario goes further. It tells an amazing and what is most important true story of doctor Livingstone. And I would die, if I don’t tell you this story…
David Livingstone (born 19 March 1813) was a Scottish medical missionary and an explorer in Africa. He run a couple of successful expeditions, he was kind a though bastard with a passion in his heart. You can learn more about him and his expeditions reading history books, but for now just take it for granted – he was the Explorer.
And as you can guess, one day he got into troubles. He got lost.
Livingstone completely lost contact with the outside world for six years. Only one of his 44 letter dispatches made it to Zanzibar. One surviving letter to Horace Waller, made available to the public in 2010 by its owner Peter Beard, reads: ‘I am terribly knocked up but this is for your own eye only, … Doubtful if I live to see you again …’
This one letter arrived. Was frightening. And had potential of a good story. That’s where New York Herald and young journalist Henry Morton Stanley come up…
New York Herald announces that is sending expedition to find and rescue doctor Livingstone. And it is going to go live…
Today we have all types of reality shows, from Big Brother, Real Housewives of Miami to MTV’s True live. In 1871 they had their own – Tracking doctor Livingstone. Every single week New York Herald was publishing report written by Henry Morton Stanley sent right from Africa with description of his adventures and progress of expedition. They had the story.
Reading biography of Julius Verne I found an interesting part. Story of tracking doctor Livingstone was so popular those times and New York Herald got so much attention and higher sells, that editor of magazine ordered Stanley to not find Livingstone too soon! So Stanley was visiting different parts of region, writing dreadful stories of his journey and was keeping the story alive for many months.
Awesome, isn’t it?
Finally he found doctor Livingstone…
So you can imagine. You are in a heart of Africa. You found a village. There is a white man there. Only one white man in this region, and saying this region I mean thousands of miles around you. It is the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, 10 November 1871. Clearly this is the end of expedition. Clearly Stanley’s found Livingstone. So what does he do? He approaches Livingstone and says words that will become one of the most famous quotes of journalism. He says: ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?’
It is always good to remember about etiquette, right?
8th scenario for Robinson tells this story. You are taking expedition to find doctor Livingstone. Keep this story in mind when you will play it. Let us honor this two great explorers of XIX century!