A book filled with ways to get people off of their screens and interacting with each other. Life is a Game. Are you playing?
Thanks to all for your interest and support. If you'd like a book after the Kickstarter has ended, head to 101groupgames.com, or check the Updates tab here.
UPDATE: As of July 30th, we are funded! We've introduced a Stretch Goal of $7,500, to unlock an iOS Life is a Game app. Check out the Updates Page for more details. Below is an artist's rendering of the app's possible starting screen.
Whether you are at a family reunion, lunch hour, the local bar, or simply relaxing with friends, one thing is always the same these days. Everyone is on their screens. Smartphones, tablets, or computers - there is no escaping it. These four examples are social settings, yet everybody is staring at a screen rather than actually interacting with each other.
We, the Breier family, think we can help. Presenting "Life is a Game" - a book stuffed with hundreds of games to play with anyone regardless of the setting. This book solves the problem of "What should we do now?" with clear and spunky instructions for clever on-the-spot games, punchy parlor games, light physical games, board games and more.
Not just Fun and Games
Man's desire to cooperate and interact with other people is one of the main things that sets humans apart from other mammals, even other primates. As Aristotle put it, "Man is by nature a social animal". We agree, and believe that working with each other towards or against a common goal can provide some of the best times of our lives. Games provide that framework for interaction as well as the goal, so even if the game itself is cosmically unimportant, to act of playing it can do wonders.
The State of the Game has changed
When we talk about group games, people think about Charades, Monopoly, or Beer Pong, with a groan. Our games aim higher, and many of them fit into these six contemporary trends we have noticed:
- Never Stop Playing With older games, you often spend the majority of play time waiting for your turn, simply watching others. Today there are many more games where you interact with others during their turn, as opposed to a single player making moves at a time. Settlers of Catan is a good example of this- your turn often revolves around trading, which incorporates other players.
- Everybody Wins We all know that sad feeling when you lose a Monopoly game and feel like the last 2 hours were wasted. In contrast, many of our games are so fun that even when there is a clear winner, the remaining players continue to play, because the act of playing is fun. Bananagrams is a great example of this - people often look up disappointedly when someone says "done!" because they want to keep on tinkering.
- Screens become Stages Too much solo screen time against a computer is bad, but when multiple people are interacting through a screen, human interaction is restored. Four player multiplayer games available on one screen (like Castle Crashers or Scene It) are great for this.
- Updated classics Many of your old favorites have been updated with technology, better game play, and cross-breeding. Monopoly Zapped plays faster now with an iPad to do all of the banking and provide fun new Angry Birds style contests. Risk has a new goal to complete three objectives while controlling your capital. And Jenga stacking blocks now include a Truth or Dare version.
- Digital Game Connections Online games can help help remote people stay connected. In fact, Mark's brother Kurt in Maryland, plays Lexulous (similar to Scrabble) each day with his Uncle and Aunt in California.
- Generational Gaming Parents and young children might want to play together, but it's tough to find games that are complex enough to interest the parents but easy enough for the child to understand. Apples to Apples and Headline Stories circumvent this with mechanics that anyone can understand, but require ingenuity and strategy that work well no matter the players' ages.
Who is the book for?
If you have ever responded with "I don't know, what do you want to do?" then this book is for you. We have games that will help screen-obsessed zombies, families who want to interact more, bored teenagers, coworkers who want to strengthen team unity, and young adults tired of playing Beer Pong at parties.
How are we different?
Other books about group games focus on summer camp style games designed to be time killers for children. Our games place player fun and interaction first and foremost, and were field tested by the Breier family and friends over the years. Plus, they're not just for kids - anyone can have fun with these.
What will the book be like? We currently have just over a hundred games, covering myriad categories like No Materials Needed, Athletic Fun, and Intergeneration Bonding. Each game will include instructions, illustration, Optimal Number of People, as well as its Pros and Cons. Some games will include possible alternate versions to keep the fun going, a fun illustration to help you visualize, or a personal anecdote for you to imitate.
Why use Kickstarter?
Our primary goal with this project is to get people interacting in any way possible, so the Cash is the means to this end. Using Kickstarter has several other advantages: we can silmultaneously see how many Customers are interested in our product and get their input, we can garner more media Coverage of our campaign as we push for success, and we hope to catch the eye of previously unknown Cohorts (like game companies, illustrators, or distribution partners interested in helping us) for mutual benefit. Whether or not we make the goal, we want to learn of many new group games from you wonderful Internet denizens that we could use in our household, and to introduce you to many of the same.
How will we use the money?The biggest cost is an illustrator and a layout designer for the book. You contributions will offset these costs, and well as cover publishing costs.
Thanks for taking in interest in our project! If you know of any games you think should be in the book, please send them to corey [at] 101groupgames [dot] com for a chance to have them included in the final version.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The elephant in the room is undoubtedly the fulfillment process. We are comfortable that with standardized packages and printed stick-on labels, it won't entail much more than a a few hours of all-hands-on-deck peel and sticking in the Breier household. We already have the game ideas - all we need to do is arrange them together in a book and make it look good and easy to navigate.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.