MFA IXD logo

'Game of Phones' Challenges Smartphone's Anti-Social Reputation

A card game for the smartphone savvy, ’Game of Phones’ was created by Luke Stern and Sam Wander for their Entrepreneurial Design course. Annoyed by the constant presence of smartphones in social settings, they used the devices technical capabilities for a group game that banishes anti-social behavior. 

Yahoo Tech recently caught up with the game makers:

According to the pair, the game removes the worry that someone might be lost in her phone altogether. “We’d be at parties or eating at a restaurant and everyone is looking at their phones even though they’re with their friend,” Wander told Yahoo Tech. “We were interested in the ways that maybe we could take something from what was happening there and make phones more part of how you’re interacting with your friends.”How it’s played:Game of Phones is the latest in a canon of activities that have evolved from Apples to Apples, a classic that depends on a person’s ability to create entertaining combinations and gauge the judging card holder’s likes and dislikes. Cards Against Humanity (also a former Kickstarter Project) improved upon that model by catering to pop culture fanatics with dark senses of humor. Now Brooklyn-based project founders Luke Stern and Sam Wander have taken the concept to another level by incorporating a skill that many of us love to show off: the ability to find ridiculous things on the Internet and manipulate social media channels.…the game encourages players to push the limits. For instance, there’s a card that asks the group to find the most NSFW photo out there. For that reason, it doesn’t hurt if people drink while they play. (This is a theory tested by Wander and Stern themselves, who first tried out their Pad prototype of the game with a group of strangers in a bar.)What about those without the latest phone?Stern said they’ve found ways to turn those disadvantages into extra points; for instance there’s a card that’s awarded to the person with the lowest battery percentage. And not all rounds require an Internet connection.There’s also the fact that non-Snapchat or Instagram members may be shunned from some rounds. Though Stern insists that, too, is part of the fun.“They feel almost left out of the round, and it encourages them either to get that thing or to think about it a little harder,” he told Yahoo Tech. “But I think that’s almost a good part of it.”

Read the full article, see more press at Laughing Squid and follow Luke and Sam.

Keep Reading

Prospective Student FAQs
EVOLVE: The 2023 MFA Interaction Design Thesis Festival