Halloween Alternative: Virtual Murder Mystery Fundraiser

Considering something other than trick-or-treating this year? How about a virtual murder mystery that you can play from home? Sierra Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for arts and artists in the Truckee Meadows, is now selling a specially-crafted virtual murder mystery game, “Who Killed the Queen of the Reno Art Scene,” that will funnel dollars to its Washoe County Artist Relief Fund. The six-player game harkens back to traditional in-person murder mystery parties but can instead be played over Zoom or other virtual gathering applications and can be purchased for $30 (use this special discount code to get the discount: G3NZ23TZ).

Proceeds will be routed to beneficiaries of the nonprofit’s relief fund: artists and performers whose revenue opportunities were canceled because of COVID-19.

The mystery follows the death of a fictitious character, Rena Mondana, who is found murdered in the gallery of Sierra Arts Foundation the morning after a fundraising dinner. Five fictitious characters are called by the sixth player, a detective, to convene digitally to evaluate clues, discuss motives and ultimately discover who killed the socialite. Game play is estimated to last up to two hours with a break built in.

“We’re using an artistic form of entertainment to support the creators of art in this town at a time when residents could use a new way to connect with one another,” said Tracey Oliver, executive director of Sierra Arts Foundation. “‘Who Killed the Queen of the Reno Art Scene’ offers a different reason to connect and encourages social distancing, while advancing our work: supporting and protecting the art culture that has blossomed in our area.”

While the game can be played in-person, the organization encourages purchasers to consider hosting virtually. Characters can be played by any individual and props and costumes are ideal but not necessary.

“At something like $7 a person, this game makes for a very affordable date night,” said Oliver. “But we’re also hoping that price point allows players to support additional local businesses, whether it’s purchasing a costume from Junkee Clothing Exchange or dinner from Liberty Food & Wine Exchange or Wild River Grille.”

To purchase, visit the Sierra Arts website. At the completion of the purchase, materials will be emailed to the purchaser describing how to play the game.

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