Back in the 1960s I played The Game of LIFE™ a lot.
I was a child and it was my favorite game. So the first idea for a parody came to me when I was 10 years old. It was 1968 and the United States was deep in the Vietnam War. There were protesters in the streets and I remember wondering why WAR was not in The Game of LIFE™. It seemed to be a big issue.
Why is WAR not in a game called LIFE?
Then junior year in high school my girlfriend and I had sex every weekend - I thought this was great! And I wondered:
Why isn't SEX in The Game of LIFE™?
Then I went to college and started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol and I thought:
Why aren't drugs in The Game of LIFE™?
That is why WAR, SEX and DRUGS are the cornerstones in my game.
They were the first ideas.
Getting back to my childhood, my Uncle Ed created a board game about golf. So he planted the entrepreneur seed in me.
In the 1980s I sat down and tried to develop a board game of total life: gender, race, religion, nature, zodiac sign, cultural pressures, individual factors, body type, moods, emotions, relationships - everything. I soon realized that a game of total life would create 8 billion people and I could not fit it into a box. So I put the idea away.
In the 1990s, I thought:
what if i just make a parody of The Game of LIFE™ and limit it to gender, money, health and happiness?
And so, after a year of work
The Game of REAL LIFE was born.
Good omens kept me going.
I was working at a group home for severely disabled adults at the time and my manager - Karen Deskins - threw a lot of parties so I was able to test the game out at all these parties.
As I finished the game my friend, Kevin Dougherty, started his own graphic arts business
- Dawg Eat Dawg Graphics - and I was able to become his first customer.
The third good omen was Saturday Market in Eugene, OR. Saturday Market is a hand made crafts market. So for a very small fee you can sell any product that is hand made. I hand made 50 games for Christmas 1998 and sold them all.
Now I have been selling the game for 15 years and I have sold over 24000 games. I still hand make the games and still sell at craft fairs and online.
So I first thought of the game 40 years ago, I worked on it 20 years ago, 10 years ago I developed the parody and now I make my living selling the game.