In today’s climate of increasing economic and political uncertainty, a great many people have lost their security and are having to turn inward in search of a new sense of well being, purpose, and meaning. In the past, when people have lost their comfort zones, it has been traditional to turn to entertainment for distraction.
In contrast to offering distraction as a solution, GameWhys games designed to uplift, inspire, and empower their users through play, and in so doing expand the definition of “FUN” to include:
1. Inspiration and empowerment in the areas of life in which each game is a metaphor — that last long after a game is over.
2. The creation of the memory that the power of repetitive positive gestures can solve any problem. These are referred to as “Signature Moves” in the game descriptions on this site.
Games for Conscious Living are “Interactive Portraits of Life” created as a painter builds a picture from what he or she sees. The games are the result of plumbing a situation to its depth and distilling it to a metaphor, comprised of symbolic pieces, engaging strategy, and signature repetitive moves, designed to reset the player’s Humanity Button to ON — from the inside.
GameWhys was founded by John O’Neill in 2009 as a continuation of his work pioneering game as Interactive Portraits of Life for use as reflecting on living through game. Each title presents a different scenario from life, distilled into its major components as game pieces, where players can compete, cooperate or just take chances in aspects of their lives within the safety of laughter and play. These “games” are designed to offer their users the opportunity to make decisions normally out of reach in the real life situations of which each game is a metaphor. By so doing inspiration, encouragement and empowerment can be the reward, as well as fun.
Over the past two years GameWhys has attracted the attention of the Alternative Education community and John has been invited to speak and offer workshops at AERO, IDEC, and HSC. His past games have received awards and glowing reviews both nationally and internationally, including the Green Apple Award presented at the House of Commons, London, November 2011.
John’s games and cards have entered the lives of people all over the world, including Emmylou Harris, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bono and Edge of U2.
John lives in the beautiful Sierra foothills in Nevada City with his wife Lisa, daughter Oona and cat Charlotte, and teaches Card and Board Game Design at Bitney College Prep in Grass Valley, California.