The long, complicated process of shattering your assumptions

Seisei Tatebe-Goddu
3 min readMay 2, 2016

We’re just under 24 hours away from the end of our Kickstarter campaign for doosh/off, and I thought it was time for a little heart-to-heart. There are a lot of marketing risks you take when you call your product doosh/off; the name lends itself to immediate assumptions about the game, the people who made it, and our goals. And so I think it might surprise many of you to hear what the real origins of this game are.

At an individual level, it’s true, we were all tired of terrible parties, we were tired of talking about the latest TV show with our friends, and we were definitely tired of being on our phones all the time.

We’ve all been there: in the corner, on the phone, bored stiff, not talking to anyone else because hell, at least this is better than being stuck in a terrible conversation.

But beyond that, we struggled with how that translates at a societal level: the growing inability for people to have respectful conversations across ideological aisles, the breakdown in — for lack of a better term — bipartisan relationships and ventures and policies, the increasing isolation. What starts off as laughable and unfortunate ultimately leads to political and social life that is unsustainable and tragic.

And so it’s weird that our solution is something called doosh/off, right? That we seem to have gone for the lowest possible denominator, we obviously don’t get it, we’re not “progressives” because we’re “bro-y”. A “real” progressive only espouses solutions that are glaring, in-your-face curatives— no sugar coating for me, thank you very much, just give me the yucky medicine.

Except that, in the numerous times we’ve played this game, with over 200 people, I am consistently fascinated and humbled by its ability to get meaningful conversations started that rarely turn into mud-slinging, nasty arguments. Turns out you can get positive social change even when you don’t blatantly hit people in the face with it. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a game.

Like the time the last two cards standing were Mark Zuckerberg and Matthew McConnaughey, and it sparked a 40-minute conversation about Facebook’s data collection and analytics, and what that means for individual expectations of privacy and our civil rights in the future.

Or the time that Ayn Rand went up against trophy hunting, and people debated whether the political ideology of Ayn Rand and her followers was worse than hunting down big game, and whether there is a place for trophy hunting in the sustainable management of certain ecosystems.

Or the time that we played a cool round, with Rachel Maddow at the top of the list, only to have someone walk by and assume we were playing a “who’s the dooshiest?” round. And two close friends got into a conversation that they’d never had before over their politics and why they believed what they believed.

Of course, if you want to, you can just play it like any other game. It lends itself well to light-hearted snarkery just as well as Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens: Kanye’s looking pretty bad right now, and the Trump Card always wins (let’s hope not).

But if you want a fun way to have meaningful, nuanced, more interesting, assumption-crushing conversations with friends and strangers alike, this is the game for you. Because as it turns out, people don’t need medicine so much as a light-hearted, fun way to have these types of interactions.

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Seisei Tatebe-Goddu

Moneyball @futurenowusa/creator of @GameofDoosh/founder @TandemCG/@runforsomething @McGillU @Columbia @PhillipsExeter/sailor, climber, singer, runner, prof