Staging Posts
on the Journey of Life


  A game of reminiscence and exploration 


A logo with a globe

Description automatically generated




Staging Posts on the Journey of Life……

……is a game which fosters self-discovery and an understanding and appreciation of other people’s experiences, beliefs and ways of thinking;

……is a game which encourages inter-generational conversations as well as the sharing of perspectives between people of similar ages;

……is basically a simple interactive game accompanied by a rich mix of prose and poetry to stimulate the imagination and to stir and strengthen memories.


“Old and forgotten memories are the compost
 of the imagination.”

(Graham Greene)

Heritage | 4Culture




The original ideas and format for “Staging Posts on the journey of life” emerged from the work of members and associates of the East of England Faiths Agency CIC (EEFA).

We were exploring what pastoral and spiritual care was available to people of all ages, whether or not they were members of faith communities.  We were particularly interested in the experiences of elderly people and concerned that their voices should be heard and their needs addressed.

The inspiration for the design and structure of this non-competitive activity/game came from the speech by Jacques in Shakespeare’s play “As you like it”:

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.  They have their exits and their entrances and one man in his turn plays many parts; his acts being seven ages”.

Seeing the world as a stage was not a novel idea and it continues to be a powerful metaphor.  The concept of seven stages which had been a commonplace view of life since the classical period has now been overtaken by a more nuanced perspective on the progress (and decline) of human life, but it can still speak powerfully to us.  We have added other staging posts to stimulate reflection and discussion on life’s journey, so there are 12 in all.

We hope that the experience of playing “Staging Posts” will encourage reflection on the journey of life in the light of the outlook and concerns of people of different generations in 21st century multi-cultural Britain.



The players start by choosing a leader to facilitate the session.  This person does not need to have special qualification or training and any member of the group of players could take on the role if they have the inclination and the skills to do so.

The leader is responsible for explaining the rules at the outset of the game, acts as a chairperson and can make links between what one player has said and the comments of others, moving the conversations on as appropriate.

The leader also acts as a moderator ensuring that the complexity and depth of discussions stay at an appropriate level for the particular participants who are playing.

As the point of Staging Posts is to share a dialogue and not to become embroiled in any kind of dogmatic argument, a good leader will sense if anything requires a gentle steer in another direction. The leader also has the task of maintaining a generally friendly and congenial atmosphere.

Generally, players / participants would be expected to agree that any personal information or opinions disclosed, are not repeated or attributed to any named person, outside the group, without that individual giving explicit permission. This is sometimes referred to as the "Chatham House Rules".



The game consists of a playing board with a spinner and twelve sets of topic cards.  Each set of cards relates to a staging post on the journey of life.  There is also a card with 12 starter questions and Shakespearean quotations.  Groups may choose to use these in an introductory session to familiarise themselves with the game.


The Twelve Staging Posts are:

1: Heritage                                      7: Community

2: Conception and Birth               8: Meaning and Purpose

3: Childhood and Schooldays      9: Work / Life Balance

4: Education and Training          10: Retirement and Old Age

5: Friendship and Love                11: Death and Bereavement

6: Family                                        12: Legacy.


The Leader takes charge of the starter card.
The topic cards should be ‘shuffled’ and placed on the table in twelve piles. 

The first player spins the arrow.  When the arrow stops spinning, the player notes the staging post.

The Leader reads out a question from the starter card:

Eg: “How would you describe your basic family unit at this time? Do you have an “extended” family of any kind?”

The first player then responds to the question and the rest of the group then offer their own comments.

To stimulate further discussion, the first player then picks up a topic card from the top of the relevant pile.

The front of each card presents one or more questions related to the topic.  The back of each card contains prose and/or poetry related to the topic together with more questions to give the player more ways to respond to the topic.

The rest of the group can join in and discuss the topic.  It is up to the group to decide how long discussion of topics should last, according to how much time is available for the whole session.


When discussion concludes, the participant returns the topic card to the bottom of the topic pile.  The next participant then spins the arrow and the game proceeds as before.  The game continues until the players decide to conclude the session.

Concluding play

When each player has had their turn, the Leader could close the session by revisiting each staging post and reading out the relevant Shakespearian quotation or possibly the whole passage from “As you like It.”


Accompanying the game, there is a booklet ‘Whether we like it or not, all the world’s a stage’.  This contains prose and poetry on the twelve staging posts presented in sequence.  The booklet can be used for private reflection.



Staging Posts on the Journey of Life incorporates many pieces of prose and poetry, and some graphics which are the intellectual property of their creator or copyright owner.

Copyright permission to use these items has been obtained or is being sought wherever it has been possible to identify the copyright owner.

We are grateful to all those copyright owners (too many to list here) who have waived their copyright fee because they recognise the contribution this game can make to the building of community and healing of society and in particular to improving the wellbeing of those who suffer from dementia and similar afflictions.


For more information about the game, please visit our web site at


We are continuing to explore where and how the game might prove to be a useful resource.  In particular we are looking at how it might facilitate

·       the stimulation of the memories of the elderly

·       interaction between young people and the elderly in care homes

·       the broadening of awareness of young people

·       the strengthening of inter-generational communication in families

If you know of any groups who might benefit from playing Staging Posts, please let us know