The Story...

SO the game started out as a book...

…I woke up one day in March and, after listening to the headlines of that morning (March 20th), I decided that I would begin documenting the events of 2020 with the intention of turning it into a book…but as the year unfolded and the events (and our responses) got wilder and wilder, I began to think that the book would go over about as good as the year and it occurred to me that the whole year felt like some wild crazy GAME with unexpected twists at every corner! So I thought, why NOT?! Why not build a game that reflected the zeitgeist (craziness? insanity?) of the year?

While the whole world went virtual in every aspect of their life and physical isolation became the mantra and norm during the pandemic of 2020, why not build a game that brought people back together IRL (in real life) to celebrate our “coming out” of the pandemic and provide a fun way to process and memorialize our global 2020 experience?

That would mean building a game that brought people together around a table IRL and “unplugging” from the virtual world. To be honest, the vision in my head was something like the matrix “coming out” or “Logan’s Run” or “Total Recall”…

So, as everybody’s holiday plans were about to become the latest victims of the pandemic in 2020 – with the CDC recommending no family gatherings, I zoomed a few friends and, with no more of the idea than you just read, all 5 of us “caught the vision” and began to explore what a game like that would look like.

What format would it take? We all agreed is would be analog – nothing “virtual” – but something that acknowledged and incorporated the role of technology in 2020 life and designed intentionally to be played with a group of people IRL – NOT an app!

What would the “rules” be like? After all, the rules in 2020 changed every day! What would “winning” a game like that look like? Especially when just surviving became the primary goal of 2020!

AND, what would make people want to play it? I mean reliving 2020? Seriously?

F*CK 2020! I mean, isn’t that how everybody felt? 2020 sucked in almost every way. 2020 disrupted and interrupted our lives, took SOMETHING from every one of us and took EVERYTHING from some of us, and put all our hopes and dreams on indefinite hold, while we watched the 2020 “earthquake” shake our whole world! So, F*CK 2020! In fact, that resonated with us so much that we almost named the game “F*CK 2020!”

But 2020 was so much more than that… Yes, 2020 kind of sucked. A lot of bad things happened and our lives WERE disrupted – in every way. But a lot of good things happened too. A lot of HISTORICAL things happened and a whole new way of life emerged. We were all forced to stop and take stock of our lives and what is truly important. We saw people’s need for each other and we saw how people could help one another. We saw the “holes” in the fabric of our society and we found ways to begin to repair them. In some ways Time Magazine was right when they said 2020 was “The Worst Year Ever.” But in some ways, some important ways, they were wrong. In fact, in some ways, 2020 was the BEST year ever!

SO “2020: The Best Year Ever (The Game)” was born.

Now, while many have incorporated the events of 2020 into existing game formats (like CaH), we remained firmly convinced that a game that TRULY incorporated “The 2020 Experience” would have to be a game like no other. A game that reflected what we went through in 2020. So we built a game from scratch. We borrowed “pieces of this” and “pieces of that” and we built a game that is as full of surprises as 2020 was.

And a brand new kind of board game emerged.

The rules are simple…

      • Take a “COVID Test” to begin (it’s a spinner).
      • Roll the dice and move your game piece that many spaces.
      • Follow the directions on that space.
      • Continue around as each player takes a turn until the game ends.

But the surprises are everywhere…

      • Depending on the card you might draw, you may get points, lose points, or have to perform an activity of some kind…you never know what you’re going to get.
      • At any time during the game, the rules of the game can change – sometimes in small ways and sometimes in BIG ways…you never know whether you’re winning or losing.
      • The game itself could end at any point…you never know when it is coming!
      • AND you will discover things about 2020 AND the other players that you never knew…and you never know what you never knew!

And everybody will want to play! Why? Because…

      • After so long in quarantine – playing the same old games over and over, it will be nice to play a brand new kind of game
      • The rules are easy but the “win” is elusive (and fun to chase)!
      • The excitement (and tension) begins to build even from the very start of the game and will keep people hopping and guessing (and learning) until – without warning – the game ends!
      • Every time you play, the game is different – from beginning to end!
      • It’s about time we got together again IRL!

Yes, 2020 kind of sucked. A lot of bad things happened and our lives WERE disrupted – in every way. But a lot of good things happened too. One of them was the recognition of our NEED for social gathering. And another was THIS GAME – one more way to celebrate each other and our collective fortitude to “make lemonade!”

So if you really want to know what this game is about (and what 2020 was about), PLAY THIS GAME…and ENJOY!