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Big Huggin' - Giant Bear Hugging Video Game's video poster
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Ever play an affection game? Big Huggin’ is a video game you control with a giant teddy bear. Let's play another way - ages 2-100. Read more

Oxford, OH Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on February 14, 2013.

Ever play an affection game? Big Huggin’ is a video game you control with a giant teddy bear. Let's play another way - ages 2-100.

Oxford, OH Video Games
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Lindsay Grace
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Lindsay Grace

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About this project

Hugs for folks who might need it

The money pledged supports the continued promotion and exhibition of the game. The next goal is the subsidized release of the game for children in places where giving hugs is even more valuable than the everyday. This project will help fund the production of bears and the game. With more bears I can expand where the game is offered. Long term, I'd like to bring them to children’s hospitals, spaces helping people with autism, and anywhere a hug is valued.   

Child playing
Child playing
Players in Paris (photo by Stacey Stormes)
Players in Paris (photo by Stacey Stormes)
Game Overview:
Big Huggin' is a game played with a 30 inch custom teddy bear controller. Players complete the game by providing several well-timed hugs. It is an experiment and gesture in alternative interface. Instead of firing toy guns at countless enemies or revving the engines of countless gas guzzling virtual cars, why not give a hug? A hug is simple gesture. It is one of the first physical expressions of affections a child learns. It is a gesture for the familial through the romantic. It is a gesture of mutual benefit. The game is designed to offer reflection on the way we play and cultural benefits of alternative play.

The game was shown at art and game exhibits in Paris (France), Philadelphia (USA), Baltimore (USA), and others in 2012. It is one of 9 game designed to help people re-evaluate their relationship to the way they play video games. Other games in the collection are described at CriticalGameplay.com

Review: “Lindsay Grace’s Big Huggin’, the tour de force of the [Punk Arcade] exhibition” - Philadelphia CityPaper, Re-View: Game On

Image from the Punk Arcade show in Philly
Image from the Punk Arcade show in Philly
Someone left this note on the back of my business card in Baltimore about Big Huggin. Made my day-thanks!
Someone left this note on the back of my business card in Baltimore about Big Huggin. Made my day-thanks!

How will it work:

As a long time “alumnus” of Boston Children’s hospital in the 80's, I remember playing a few donated video games down the hall. Sometimes playing games were an award for getting blood drawn or doing a little extra physical therapy. Sometimes they were a way to keep from feeling bored and lonely on a hospital floor.

I’d like to give back by providing this game for free to kids who would enjoy it. I have several pediatrician friends who are happy to help me get the game in front of kids. I live close to Cincinnati Children’s now, so it would be a good place to start. I’ll personally bring the game for play sessions. 

The hardware is easily removed so that the bear can be washed and sanitized.   The game has been played by more than 200 players without breaking and can be sanitized with an antiseptic spray. 

I’m not promising that this game will change the world, I do think it might just change a few perspectives.

Child ready to play
Child ready to play

Financial Plan:

The minimum funds will support me demonstrating the game locally.

Funds beyond the minimum will support the upcoming expenses which I’ve been paying for out of pocket:

-Extending the provisional patent

-Building more bears for distributing and exhibiting

Every system is hand assembled by me. I'm a professor in Creative Arts at Miami University, and the director of the Games Center at the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media.  

Risks and challenges

International distribution is complicated by varied customs regulation. In shipping this work to Brazil, for example, it was held in customs for more than 2 months.I have personally delivered 60% of the bears used for public display. Others have been shipped and proven very durable. I have been showing Critical Gameplay games for 4+ years on several countries and have 10+ years in software development.

As with any computer game there are risks, but feedback has been very positive. An estimated 200+ people have played the game without problem. The system is built and tested, the project simply needs help with distribution/publication. Funding will make my dream of bringing it beyond art exhibits to hospitals, schools and more.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    6 backers

    Your name on the new supporters/thank you section of the Big Huggin’ webpage with optional link to your site. Supplied link must be age appropriate.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    14 backers

    Big Huggin’ small refrigerator magnet (3.5” x 2.05”) .
    Your name on the new supporters/thank you section of the Big Huggin’ webpage with optional link to your site. Supplied link must be age appropriate.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    4 backers

    Big Huggin’ cotton T-shirt

    Your name on the new supporters/thank you section of the Big Huggin’ webpage with optional link to your site. Supplied link must be age appropriate.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    1 backer

    Big Huggin’ T-shirt, small magnet and optional webpage credit with link with icon photo/logo

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    Limited edition t-shirt, small magnet and optional webpage credit with icon photo/logo link on CriticalGameplay.com

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    In game credit (at start) with Big Huggin’ limited edition t-shirt

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer

    Your very own bear controller (bear may differ from shown, but will be at least 24" and match on screen bear)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Limited edition original bear controller

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    Bonus level design of your choice - you send me your level design and I make it a reality within the game ($1000). Levels cannot be longer than 5 minutes and must maintain the basic premise of the game. Also includes "I designed a level in Big Huggin' " t-shirt.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)