The Background

Everyone's a stressed out, underpaid "sloganeer" working for The Name Game. Then there's this guy named Paul whose wife left him and he's neck deep in debt from the shrink bills for him and the kids. He's so low he hasn't come up with a decent product name or slogan in months. Then one morning, in a rare-for-the-workplace personal moment near the coffee pot, Paul opens up to everyone.

"Yeah, the boss, he's saying I'm up for a promotion this month...if I can just turn out some good work. You know I've been a little off lately. But I think the therapy is helping...a little. And, uh, well, anyway, would you guys please not try so hard for the next couple weeks?"

You get the picture.

The Game

Get Paul That Promotion is a hilarious game where everyone tries hard to be uncreative, but not so uncreative they get fired. It's for 4-6 players, ages 12 and up.

You can get the small-box version which contains the necessary cards and rules. You'll have to supply some paper and pencils to play this version. The deluxe version includes markers, paper and quite a bit more air. Either way, this is likely to be the most cost efficient party game you've bought when it comes to laughs per dollar.

Small box version: $3.50

Deluxe version: $6.50

As always, you'll only be able to buy this B&W Game through the nice people at .

It should be available by the end of October!

The Story Behind the Game

Last summer I hosted several all-day gaming events at my house. Most of the attendees were former students of mine. One particularly fun day we were wrapping up a meal when I noticed the pop we were drinking. It was Citrus Drop soda, a "Big K" brand pop. The thing that cracked me up was the slogan: "Pop the Drop". "What in the world does that mean?" I asked everyone. We laughed at the absurdity of such a slogan. I continued, "Can you imagine someone-most likely in a suit-stood in front of other adults and suggested 'Pop the Drop'? And what's worse, they used it!"

Al said, "I guess all the other ideas on the list must have been worse."

"There's got to be a game idea there," I said. I'm always looking for a good game concept and the thought of coming up with bad ideas intrigued me.

Then Paul, a former student who has provided me with many good laughs over the years, calmly said, "Get Gary That Promotion."

This sounded like a great concept, so I immediately promised I'd name the game after Paul.

Over the next week or so, I made a prototype largely based on a creativity game framework* I've worked on quite a bit in the last year. I brought the prototype out during the remaining game days that summer and it was an unbelieveable hit. After playing, everyone couldn't stop talking about it. I kept some of the initial product names and slogans that came out of the game and they left me in tears days after we played.

While the game is one of my favorites of all those I've created, I can't say the tribute to Paul in the game's name meant much to him. A couple weeks after that fateful day, we asked Paul to come over again for games. We promised him we'd play "that game" which he inspired. He had forgotten the whole incident.

*This creativity framework, currently unnamed, is a system I worked on with Kory Heath. He turned it into the published game Why Did the Chicken...?, released by Play Again Games. I used it for my Yaddy-Yadda Haiku game. It's possible within the next year or so the game system will be published in an upcoming book of games. It's so simple it's hardly a game, but it has proved to be so entertaining over the last year or so, I think it will be a great contribution to social gaming. Get Paul That Promotion twists the system by messing with standard of what makes a good submission. Players will call a submission "good" that the client may judge as totally unacceptable. All this role playing combined with the usual fun of "creative" responses makes for a fresh, very funny game experience. But then again, I'm biased.

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This page was last updated 10/17/04.