I have always been fascinated with the power swear words seem to have. To some people they are incredibly offensive and to others part of their every day vocabulary. Its always amusing seeing a non english speaking person learn and say an english swear word for the first time. They love the reaction the word can evoke. It is never said with any malice and takes it away from the negative connotations it is normally associated with. It is almost as if they have discovered a magical power.
I believe swearing is only offensive when it is said with intent. In September 2014 I was reminded of this while watching a Stephen Fry documentary (Frys Planet Word) where he and Brian Blessed were doing a brain test (Stroop Test) on a laptop. The test involved saying the colour of the word, not the actual word. For example the word reads “Red” but was coloured blue, so the correct answer was blue. The brain reads the word “Red” and thinks of the colour red. It then tries to determine the actual colour of the text and therefore takes longer to answer correctly.
However, on “Frys Planet Word” they add in the coloured words “Pus*y”, “C*ck”, “Wh*re”, “F**k” etc. This is when I started to get interested as both Stephen and Brian struggled to say the colours and could only say the words. This brought them to tears with laughter and I knew there was something there.
A few days later I was given a card game as a gift. I enjoy playing poker but I don’t play card games very often. The game included a high level of peer pressure. You didn't want to screw up because if you did the whole group tormented the loser. This was done in good nature and made the game really fun and very social. I forgot how great card games can be and how all age ranges can be involved. Online games can be great but nothing beats having the other people in the same room, especially when they are being ridiculed.
I decided then that the two ideas would be perfect in a card game and being a graphic designer I had all the skills to make it happen. After months of testing I found various problems which needed to be addressed. Things like the right ratio of colours to swear words and the right colours to contrast for poor lighting conditions. There was also a lot of time put into getting the rules just right. I know many people will want to play it as a drinking game so it needed to be easy to learn but also enough rules to make great gameplay. I didn’t want it to be fad game people play just once, it needed to be a fun challenge that you want to come back to.
The first prototype version has got in the hands of a small few and I am really enjoying hearing how much fun people are having playing it. It feels great knowing people are socialising and enjoying themselves from something I've created and I cant wait for the whole world to experience the game.
Béla InksterF**k. The Game - Creator.