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      Copper Country mining becomes a board game

      Scott Diehl (left) and David Lankton (right) play Copper Country

      Childhood friends and Houghton natives, David Lankton and Scott Diehl, consider themselves board game enthusiasts.

      Theyâ??ve spent many hours playing all kinds of board games, and one day Lankton decided to make his own.

      After being inspired by his fatherâ??s 30-plus years of research on U.P. mining history, Lankton created a game about mining in the Keweenaw and called it, â??Copper Country.â??

      â??He brought out this home-brewed board with some printed out cards and laid it on the table and was like, â??This is Copper Country,â??â?? recalled Diehl. â??We started playing it, and I thought to myself, â??This is a great idea.â?? I think the theme is really going to resonate with- I mean, it really resonated with me- itâ??s really going to resonate with people from this area.â??

      â??Copper Countryâ?? is created for two to four players ages 13 and up. Though the game could be likened most closely to Settlerâ??s of Catan, they said it has very unique aspects.

      â??The players are controlling an area on the board by hiring their miners in a specific spot, or building a company house for their workers and their family, or a shaft house or a hoist house to increase their production,â?? explained Lankton. â??At the same time, players are building a hand of resources, like specific kinds of labor, or equipment, or transport machinery. Then youâ??re using those resources to produce copper.â??

      The player who ends with the most copper by the time the Copper Country is â??mined outâ?? wins.

      Lankton and Diehl said itâ??s been play-tested hundreds of times by people of all ages, and most pick up on the game in about 15 minutes.

      But why a board game?

      â??A board game gets you sitting down at a table talking with people, laughing, and face-to-face whereas a video game you may be more on your own,â?? said Diehl.

      A Kickstarter campaign for â??Copper Countryâ?? has been created as well to have the game professionally mass produced, but they need at least 650 backers by June 11 to make it a reality.

      Lankton and Diehl say they hope to be able to share a little piece of the Keweenawâ??s history in a fun and interactive way.

      â??This is an opportunity to share that history with the entire world,â?? said Diehl. â??Weâ??ve got backers from England, from the U.K., from central Europe, from New Zealand.â??

      â??Weâ??re very proud of where we grew up, and I think thereâ??s a lot of Yooper pride about the area and its history, and itâ??s really not very well-known,â?? added Lankton. â??Between that and my dadâ??s research and just really wanting to share that with as many people as possible in any way.â??

      For more information about Copper Countryâ??s kickstarter campaign, click here.