A game that gets players to answer a series of absurd questions, designed to lower inhibitions, make great conversations and ultimately beat the shame of life.
The Shame of Life was created by a soon-to-be-wed couple, Gareth Breeze and Emily D’Andrea. Emily, a graphic designer, and Gareth, an ecommerce professional and writer, pooled their skills to build the game from the ground-up outside of their day jobs, in their little kitchen in Moss Side, Manchester.
Every minute someone, somewhere is second guessing what they’re about to say. We’re all guilty of it: worrying it’s too weird, too dumb, too dark, or any of a thousand things that will shame us into silence. Gareth, who suffers from OCD, spent a large part of his life doing just that, until he met Emily and together they created a game to celebrate the weird, dumb and dark we all have inside.
Using a combination of live play tests and surveys, Gareth and Emily built up a bank of shame-invoking questions. You might not think it, but behind every ridiculous question, there’s a cocktail of spreadsheet formulas, API connections and pivot tables.
In January of 2018, they took the concept to the public, ahead of a spring Kickstarter launch. The questions, often photographed on oversized cards and held around Manchester, received a huge response by Facebook users. Over the months hundreds of people came to their page every week, to debate topics like what would be the most inappropriate movie to remake as a porno.
By the time of the Kickstarter, they had amassed thousands of Facebook followers and mailing list subscribers. The fans of the game fled to Kickstarter the moment it was launched and met the £3,000 fundraising target within 8 hours, trebling to £10,000 worth of pre-orders by the end of the campaign.
FUN FACT: Not only did the science of shame provide a better understanding of shame, but it also gave them the high honour of being the first people to ever use the phrases ‘VLOOKUP’ and ‘classiest tattoo for a baby’ in the same sentence.
The original game, containing 100 game questions, 10 DIY blank question cards, 4 game modes and instructions, for ages 17+.
The expansion pack, containing 30 new game questions, created collaboratively with Kickstarter backers, for ages 17+.
For higher resolution images, more information or review requests, contact The Shame of Life media team at firstname.lastname@example.org.