A non-collectible card game.
This isn’t one of your best days. You came unwillingly, leaving unsolved issues at home, and bad traffic pumped even more adrenaline into your bloodstream, now you’re frowning. The place is packed, and while you contemplate the big mistake you made by coming, you spot an acquaintance. He sees you too, and here he comes! No, not that pedantic dork! Too late to pretend you haven’t seen him, you force yourself to smile as you greet, politely. He doesn’t respond. Instead, he gives the biggest, longest and most sudden hug.
“Easy! Don’t get me wrong, it’s just a game”, is his smiling response to your questioning look. “And I think you’re gonna like it! Here, take this card. It’s yours now.” You inspect the small card. Your eyes glitter.
You could compare this game to a conspiracy if you will. It’s not meant to be a competition, and it’s not something that ends by the time you reach the goal. Actually, that’s when it begins. The game’s purpose is just that you agree to play it, its kinda wild. Consider it a challenge: could you do it? If you say yes, the game absorbs you: when you pass along the card to someone else you’re expanding it, and at the same time you realize that yes, you can do it! Now you’re a player.
Let me explain how it works.
(Not that these are rules you must learn to play it. There is no book.)
Each card (and there are thousands of them) is unique. They all follow the same structure: 1) there’s an instruction made up of a good deed for you to execute when you find a certain condition in your everyday life. It’s a trigger. Once carried out, it also tells you to handle the card to that person. 2) a comforting text congratulating you for carrying that out and gives you a badge. 3) A second instruction clears out what it means to have that badge. Now it’s like a commitment.
You get the card, or buy it, and you’re playing. It applies to your life. But the game actually happens only when the card’s condition is met. It may mean you’ll have to look for someone or, maybe, simply build awareness about the world that surrounds you, depending on the card’s instruction. You’ve got to be mindful to give love!
These are some instructions:
- when your eyes meet a stranger’s
- when someone recommends you a movie
- when someone recommends you a TV show
- when someone recommends you a new song
- when someone recommends you a nice place
- when you’re introduced to someone
- when someone gives you food
- when someone smiles
- when someone complains about life
- when someone does a good deed
- to someone you admire
- to someone who looks sad
- to someone who looks tense
- to someone who’s outcast
- to your most recent friend
- to your oldest friend
- to someone you now consider family
- to someone you hardly know
- to the one who introduced you your favorite artist
- to someone who confides to you
- to someone who moved you
- to a child who’s ill
- to an old person who’s ill
- to someone who’s ill
When you find or put yourself in a situation which meets the card’s condition, there is a good deed for you to do. Along with that kindness, you also hand the card. To give without expecting anything in return: that’s how you spread love around.
Good Deeds and Badge of Honor
Your task might be something simple, like hug someone. Or something which involves establishing a more profound dialogue, or a deeper relation. But it will always be something that challenges you to leave your comfort zone. You’ve got to dedicate yourself to love!
To each completed task, the cards will bestow you a badge. Something to be proud of. Here’s some good deeds and its respective badges:
- give a hug – hugger
- offer a drink – drink-along
- offer a candy – sweetener
- share a childish joy – silly-sharer
- give a flower – florist
- give thanks for something – thanker
- make a sincere compliment – complimenter
- tell how your day was – open book
- take to dance – dance-along
- tell a joke – joker
- invite for a coffee – pause-maker
- wish something you want for yourself – hope-maker
- share your favorite place – place-sharer
- share your favourite song – music-sharer
- share your favourite movie – movie-sharer
- share your favourite TV show – show-sharer
- share a fear of yours – shiver-along
- make a caress – caresser
- give a ride – ride-along
- offer future support – supporter
- give in something important to you- detached
- invite for a meal – eat-along
- tell a story – narrator
Now that you’ve made it, you acquired a few abilities. And you played an important role in the immense task of spreading love around the world! From now on, you should live up to your accomplishment. Keep on repeating your good deed, and by doing so you’ll be able to recognize other fellow conspirers! Your card tells you how: it prompts you to retribute a certain kindness with another. Some other card compels someone else to do exactly that, and when you retribute, both will know you are allies in Love.
But how it begins?
This is a non-collectible card game, and putting it into action implies experimenting an untested model. There are some possible implementations:
Some enthusiasts buy or print a set of cards and take it to some gathering. The permutation of keys and tasks presented above would result in 552 cards, but a selection could be made to match the occasion. Cards would be handed to the guests as they arrive and, if they like the idea, the game could become a distinct party feature, with people trading cards right there and taking them home afterwards with a funny memory. From there the seed is planted for the next step.
Cards are sold separately or in 6-packs at the neighborhood’s game store, at drugstores, newsstands, or, maybe, handed over by a school, grocery shop or crossroads. The 552 permutations aforementioned may be enough or it could be necessary to create some more keys and tasks. The goal would be to reach some critical mass of people who decide to “play” until the game becomes a subject of small-talk around town.
Mass marketing campaign
The game’s full potential could be achieved with a complex and well-planned production, distribution and marketing operation. Serialized numbered cards are distributed in a well thought social and geographic pattern and sold like a consumer fetish, by all possible means, appealing specialy to children and teenagers. A fad sweeps the country, investors get profit from sales and the world becomes a better place.