Social Innovation and a Life-Size Board Game

Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Green

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Have you heard? Play is back! We’re talking about good, old fashioned play— no smart phone games, no video games, no screens period. One of the amazing verynice incubator companies just launched a campaign to fund their brand new, interactive, life-sized board game. That’s right: a life-sized board game. Sounds like a blast, right? It’s called Doozy and it’s for both children and adults alike (just for the record, we would be playing either way).

Rather than tell you anymore about Doozy ourselves, we sat down with Co-Founder & CEO, Scott Fairbanks, to get the full scoop. Check out his interview below and then visit Doozy’s awesome campaign page for videos, instructions on how to play, and more!

We know Doozy is on a mission to encourage individuals of all ages to play— and we know play is so important for children, but why encourage adults too?

That’s exactly right, we want Doozy to be a game that entire families or cross-sections of schools can play together— age doesn’t matter! Play teaches you how to work together, flex your creative muscles, and why physical activity doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Relationships are more easily established when your guard is slightly let down, which means playing Doozy can be correlated with getting to know others faster— it makes you (at least) a little bit silly and more relaxed. Just because us adults had more of this interactive play experience as a kid than the current generation doesn’t mean it’s not important to adults too. On the contrary, the further away we get from play the more serious and discontent we become— in other words, adults need it more than ever!

To quote your website, “Doozy is positioned between the board games of the past and the evolving modular playground industry— you won’t find a screen anywhere.” No screens?! How radical!

We developed Doozy as part of a social innovation design class at USC. Our research showed us that, aside from major environmental factors, screens were the most common alternative to active recreation. With that in mind, we knew that our solution would have to get us off the couch, talking face-to-face instead of instant messaging, and using both sides our brains.

In Catherine Uong’s TEDx, she talks about opportunities to experience “flow” that are built into Doozy. Can you tell us about flow and why it’s important?

Creativity and innovation are at the center of the 21st century. But beyond its professional and economic effects, creativity brings about health effects for the creators themselves. With an increasing emphasis on our generation to take ownership and create our own futures, we need to understand how the creation process affects us physically and emotionally.

When we create, we experience happiness, sadness, and a wide range of emotions. When we are fully immersed in the creative act, we enter into a state of flow, feeling energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Flow allows for the conscious and the subconscious to merge more intimately, making us more aware and connected to ourselves and to others. We believe flow is the best invisible ingredient for personal development and community building. After flow, creators are motivated to use their previous experiences and build on the process time and time again. This means that small creative acts help creators practice flow, making them more creative, more confident, and more happy with each consequential act.

Tell us about your campaign! What is your goal and how can people participate?

We’re launching our campaign on August 6th and shooting for $25,000. Up until this point we’ve kept operations very lean, and spent under $1,000 as we’ve designed and refined Doozy with the help of over 700 people that have played. Our Kickstarter rewards are structured so that the game is available at a very low cost if you’re willing to make parts of it yourself, which we encourage! Beyond pledging, the next best thing is sharing it with anyone who you think might be interested, or downloading our free print & play version and letting us know your thoughts. Thank you for your support!

Thanks so much, Scott!


Matthew Manos

Matthew Manos is a social entrepreneur and business-design theorist that is dedicated to disrupting the way the design industry operates. He is the founder of verynice, and provides strategic leadership for the studio. Matthew’s work and ideas have been published in 100+ print and online venues internationally including The Huffington Post, GOOD, Gestalten, HOW, and Wired Magazine. Matthew speaks regularly at events and institutions across the United States including TEDxCMU, Social Enterprise Alliance, UCLA, WKU, and Pepperdine University. He holds a BA in Design Media Arts from UCLA, and an MFA in Media Design from the Art Center College of Design.

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