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The Urban Tarot Deck is an illustration series that is nearly 10 years in the making. It is about magic, truth and the city.
The Urban Tarot Deck is an illustration series that is nearly 10 years in the making. It is about magic, truth and the city.
346 backers pledged $33,595 to help bring this project to life.

Going strong, but a long way to go

Hello fans of the tarot! To all the new backers on this list, I just want to say a heartfelt thanks for your support. In the first 10 days, we're well over a third of the way to our goal, but that still leaves us quite a ways from seeing this project funded. So if you haven't already, please think about ways you can help spread the word.


This past Thursday, I was really excited that the project was featured in the Manhattan Users Guide ( They had lovely things to say - I heart you too, MUG.

Jessica Hammer, Strength and Justice

Jessica is the only person so far (myself excluded) that I've asked to appear on more than one card. That may have something to do with Jessica being more than twice as awesome as most people. Ok, not really, but she is. I asked her to pose for Justice as one of the earliest cards, back in 2003 because I thought she would make a great police officer. When I asked her to pose for Strength, it was because I've never known anyone who better represents that card. I simply couldn't see anyone else on that card but Jessica Hammer.

If you've looked at the reward she's offering, or know someone who might be interested in it - I want you to be aware of the value of what you'd be getting, and at much less than her going rate.

I know Jessica first through games, and there is a reason for that. As a game designer, game researcher, writer and academic she makes an impression on everyone she comes in contact with. I've been lucky enough to have been both her friend and her student - usually both at the same time.

In addition to teaching classes at Columbia University, Jessica is a regular speaker at both academic and industry conferences on games, creativity and learning. She advises game-related start-ups and runs workshops to help media developers integrate playfulness into their work. She can, of course, explain her work and her credits better than I can, so check out her site ( to get more of her official background and some info on her assorted current projects.

I've heard first hand how much her students, both young and old, look forward to her classes, and I'm not a bit surprised. Jessica can explain something extremely elusive in a way that makes it seem obvious. Soon, you look back and wonder how nobody else understands it the same way... and then you realize that there's only one Jessica to go around. She has changed the way I look at game design, at stories, at gender, at prejudice, at life.

On a personal level, I have seen Jessica display incredible reserves of emotional strength through any number of personal trials, and yet she has never failed to be one of the most caring and generous people I've ever met.

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