New analog card games encourage IRL connection

Though the popularity of online gaming gets the bulk of the attention, analog media is experiencing a resurgence among youth. These games not only give young people an opportunity to engage in tactile tasks, they also tap into the nostalgia of the games of their youth. For instance, Target began selling an analog version of Oregon Trail, and recent months have also seen a rise in Cards Against Humanity-style games that allow young people to connect with one another without focusing on their phones.


Designed to infuse adventure into everyday life through a series of challenges, SERENFLIPITY is rooted in behavioral science—and in real experience. The game’s founder, Cara Thomas, created the deck to help her get unstuck after a breakup and find new inspiration at work. The rules are simple: players simply pick a card and complete the adventure, taking as long as they need. Expanding on the card game, Thomas recently launched Serenflipity Text (Beta), a personal concierge that dreams up daily adventures, nudges, and thoughtful questions for players that encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones, rediscover their cities, or simply find more connection in day-to-day life. 


Those looking for an easy way to harass people can now turn to Buzzfeed’s self-proclaimed “awkward party game,” Social Sabotage, which challenges players to implode their beautifully curated digital lives through a series of social media dares. Players take turns challenging each other through two categories of cards: WHERE, which give the destination for the message, picture, or caption (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), and WHAT, which provide awkward messages, pictures, or captions that need to be sent. The player with the courage to collect the most cards wins.


For people who’ve always dreamed of seeing their favorite Wes Anderson characters battle, there’s Completely Open, a beautifully illustrated card game that allows film lovers to weigh the merits of each fictitious figure based on a set of numerical values such as box office dollars, family troubles, influence, style, and awards. Players split the cards out equally, and the starting player chooses a card stat. Friends then go around the circle comparing stats, with the highest one winning. The process is repeated until someone snags all the cards.