I got my third chance to demo Choose One on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Some friends and I have a monthly game day, and we were looking forward to trying this newest Looney Labs game, as we have enjoyed several others in the past. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts made this group smaller than usual this month, with only three participants. But we still had a great time!
--Enjoyment of the game pieces. One participant: "There's a heart and a brain... what was it the Cowardly Lion needed?" Other participant: "Courage... I guess this could be the courage" (referring to the wine bottle). Further discussion of game pieces may not be G-rated enough to post. ;o)
--Appreciation that black/white was not being associated with yes/no or good/bad, or even being employed at all.
--Appreciation for cards that even the "it" person doesn't quite know the answer to, and the opportunity for self-reflection.
--Appreciation for cards that allow for discussion and getting to know friends on a deeper level. The "knowing when you'll die / knowing how you'll die" card was the favorite for this aspect. "Fight / flight" and "buck the system / go with the flow" were other good ones. We actually ended up deciding that bucking the system and going with the flow aren't really opposites, but rather often go hand in hand. For example, being an out lesbian is both bucking the system and going with your own personal flow.
--A mid-game pause to discuss Andy's blog about how he developed Choose One, which two of us had read and enjoyed.
--Thank you's for the 7-card promo decks they each received. One participant was going to go home and play an abbreviated game with her husband. The other participant commented that the card that was visible through the plastic wrap was the right one to make visible. After further discussion of these promo decks, they each took a couple more to give to friends, as they thought this might be a good way to get others interested.
Constructive suggestions that arose:
--A discussion of price--$30 felt a bit high, but was perhaps necessary due to the number of cards printed, and the added cost of a board and custom game pieces. The general sense was that, for these participants, the Fluxx series of card games was more enjoyable and less expensive than Looney Labs' two recent board game additions. They like both board games, but would be more likely to buy a Fluxx or Chrononauts deck.
--A request for a Buddhist expansion deck--though there was some laughter about how life itself is the Buddhist expansion deck.
--A request for an expansion deck that dared to ask more deep and personal kinds of questions. This thought, in a different form, was actually suggested by Max in my last demo as well. I just forgot to include that comment. His thought was that a "therapy" deck could be very beneficial for counselors to use with their clients. He envisioned a counselor giving one to three specially chosen cards to clients as "homework" to take with them and consider during the week. Examples were things like "talk / act" or "confront / stuff it." But the suggestion during the game day that is the subject of this current Event Report was more general in nature. The participants had been hoping for a more introspective / meditative kind of experience that deepened understandings of themselves, their friends, and the world around them. And yes, that's a lot to ask of a party game. ;o) But the thought has been repeated by at least three people now.
All in all, this was another successful game day, with lots of laughter, enjoyment, and happy discussion. :o)