It’s not every day that someone creates a new platform for games, but today is one of them.
Brooklyn designer Jonathan Bobrow and his company Move38 announced the launch of a new game, or more accurately, a new platform for games Tuesday morning. It’s called Blinks, and it’s made up of LED-blinking hexagons that cling to each other with magnets. Up just a few days on Kickstarter, it’s already raised more than $28,000 of a $75,000 goal.
“I think we are too consumed with screen-based devices and I love the thought of handling smart objects that focus on tactility, the hands-on aspect rather than overwhelm with information,” Bobrow explained in a text message Tuesday morning.
— Matt Forbeck (@mforbeck) February 16, 2018
Although Blinks will come with the rules for three games you can play with them, it’s more like playing cards than it is like Clue. That’s because new games will be invented using Blinks, several of which are under development now by game designers.
“It’s hard to predict the commercial appeal of this novel, open platform for casual, digital tabletop games,” one of Blinks’ investors, Adam Huttler, explained in a post on Medium. “One thing I do know, though, is that Blinks are authentically new — a genuine innovation in an industry that is as old as chess and sees lots of product launches but very little fundamental change.”
Bobrow, who was named by his peers as one of the best designers working in Brooklyn in our list Your favorite designer’s favorite designers: 21 of Brooklyn’s top firms and people, explained that the idea for Blinks came from Conway’s Game of Life (not the Hasbro game).
“It’s a simple rule set on a grid about how a cell will behave based on neighboring cells, that emerges beautiful and seemingly biological looking life-forms through its patterns,” wrote Bobrow. “I wanted to bring that kind of emergent behavior off of the screen and allow it to be handled. It turned out that using those kinds of properties for gameplay and the result of Blinks made for a compelling excuse to play and hang out with friends.”
Bobrow’s previous projects include Troxes, a sort of legos for the modern, though still unplugged kid.