Risking (Social) Life and Limb

four self-described nerds craft a gigantic Risk board

Trevor Kupfer, photos by Trevor Kupfer |

“It’s super nerdy, but awesome,” Aryn Widule warned me as I insisted on visiting his Eau Claire home and seeing his gigantic homemade version of Risk that requires craps hooks to play. And he was undoubtedly right. It seems he and his roommates were playing Risk over spring break and, after a few beers, someone noted how awesome it would be to play on a ginormous board. Three days later, the quartet had transformed their beer pong table into a waterproof board game, made their dining room into a war room, and bought out Eau Claire’s stock of army men. They call their version DANGEROUS OPTION, and they’ve custom made it to include new countries (Antarctica, Cuba, and Zululand), hilarious location cards, and about 700 army men led by generals from Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The recent creation became famous after co-creator Mark Olson e-mailed College Humor just for kicks, and the massive site featured the game on their homepage with the headline, “The only thing they’re Risking is getting laid.” I joined the inventors for an April 16 game, which went from 9:30pm to 3am, and after a while they were already talking about their next ventures. Aaron Stoltman suggested making all kinds of giant board games on beer pong tables and selling them online. Dylan Thomas noted that the table still has an unused side. “I was thinking Mousetrap might be our winter project.”