Board Games: UFO: Game of Close Encounters (Avalon Hill, 1978)

UFO Game 1978

UFO Game 1978-2

UFO Game 1978-3

UFO Game Ad 1978

Like ‘UFO’, ‘Close Encounters’ was also immune from trademark, as it was the name of a preexisting classification system introduced by J. Allen Hynek in The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry (1972). The game was published originally (as UFO) by Gamma Two and bought and redesigned by Avalon Hill, Simulations Publications’ (Dawn of the Dead board game) primary competitor.

What Carl Jung said about UFOs in 1959 (Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies) is just as relevant today:

In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets…. Even people who would never have thought that a religious problem could be a serious matter that concerned them personally are beginning to ask themselves fundamental questions. Under these circumstances it would not be at all surprising if those sections of the community who ask themselves nothing were visited by `visions,’ by a widespread myth seriously believed in by some and rejected as absurd by others.

Jung’s interpretation was that UFOs represented a modern “savior myth“: instead of looking to the heavens for God, who we have infantilized, rationalized, and pestered into insignificance, we look to the heavens for touchable yet godlike alien beings, who validate and ennoble our crass race by condescending to visit and study us, and whose technological miracle-crafts may offer us a means of escaping our boredom with ourselves.

(Images via Board Game Geek)

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