When I teach the Gramática, I like to introduce Dante's De vulgari eloquentia, his Latin-language defense of the romance vernaculars, as a sort of forerunner to the ideas set forth by Nebrija. I was Googling the ISBN number for the edition of the De vulgari that I want my students to buy so that I can finish putting together my syllabus and course packet, but it turns out that googling "de vulgari eloquentia" autocompletes to "de vulgari eloquentia: the board game." I abandoned my original search and clicked through to what Google suggested and found this:
And, clearly, I bought it, as there are the contents spread out on my office floor. It's a board game where the players' goal is, apparently, to prevail in disseminating their preferred Italian dialect as the lingua (erm) franca. I had thought I would play it with my freshman maybe for the second half of the class on the rise of romance vernaculars. It seemed to me like using a board game would be a good way of illustrating a high-culture/low-culture divide and posing the question of how do you communicate a message with people who might not have consistent or the highest level of education.
The game is played along three separate axes, has a variety of different types of tokes and there are twelve pages of mad-complicated directions that I suspect one has to consult frequently during gameplay...
...and that might be what ultimately puts the kibosh on my actually using it in class. I don't mind using class time to take alternative approaches to the material, but I don't know that I want the instructions to become another text that has to be deciphered. If it were a game I could explain quickly and drop them into more easily, it would be great; but, as a colleague aptly put it, the De Vulgari is hard enough itself.