AS she sat in a restaurant surrounded by diners far more interested in their iphones than each other, Elizabeth Gray decided to find a way for people to talk again.
“I realised people don’t seem to have proper, in-person conversations anymore, which I think is really sad,” she says.
Last year the Tuggeranong-based, retired public servant developed a new board game, “Snooper”, which encourages players to communicate and “bridge the gap between what we know and don’t know about each other on a personal and fun level”.
“I wanted people, kids in particular, to have a game where they could actually interact, but still have fun,” Elizabeth says.
The rules of “Snooper” are simple and there’s no winner – each player simply chooses a card with a question to answer.
The questions range from light hearted – favourite colours, music, food – to the serious, such as organ donation, bullying or relationships.
“While most questions are fun, there are questions there that parents just can’t normally ask their kids,” Elizabeth says.
“There are questions specifically for younger or older kids, as well as for adults. With organ donation in particular, it’s an important question to ask someone, but people are far too busy to bring it up sometimes.
“I think the idea was to get kids to know more about parents – to make them aware that their parents had the same issues they do – but it’s also a way for parents to know about their children without seeming like they’re prying.”
As well as questions, cards can include affirmations or activities – “one might say do a dance and get others to join in,” says Elizabeth.
So far, the game has received a “great response”.
“I hope more people will benefit from it, because it is sad a lot of games are now just played online, where there’s not an interactive experience,” Elizabeth says.
“We always played board games when I was growing up, and with my children.
“When you play a board game it’s fun, it’s laughter, you take the mickey out of each other. When people play these games electronically, there is no interaction with people. There’s not the same fun and laughter, and I hope to bring that back.”
“Snooper Game”, $45, available from snoopergame.com.au.