A Little Bit About the Game
The Only Game That Could Save Your Lives!

Play It Safe developer Randy Martineau

Well, Iíve always loved playing board games. And the idea to make one really sprouted when I was playing ďWorse Case ScenarioĒ with a girlfriendís son. Itís a question/answer game thatís mainly about life threatening situations. The main problem I saw was that the game was filled with scenarios you donít want kids thinking about or trying! Here I was playing a game with a 7 year old and we were pondering questions like ďHow do you jump out of a window into a dumpster?Ē or ďHow do you jump from a moving car?Ē Not normal life scenarios nor anything you want entering a young childís imagination. The game had other drawbacks. Being young, the boy could not yet read well. I could not read my own questions because the answers were on the same side of the card as the question. He would need to spell out words that he could not read Ö tedious, to say the least. There was also no further explanation of the answers and no way to confirm them. Lastly, the game and box were a dull 2-color layout with minimal graphics. What ever happened to the games of our childhood like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Life? Everything that could be done to reduce the cost is incorporated in some of the games on the market!

Operating One Source Global Iíve been accustomed to making a wide range of products for my customers. We help with design, specifications, factory selection, inspections, shipping, and finally customs clearance. We donít market these products, we get them made and delivered Ė but I at least knew that if I wanted to produce a game I knew the process.
After working out the concept, I decided to bet the farm on the Play It Safe game. Iíve been in the computer business and now the contract manufacturing business for over 20 years and Iíve never felt that I made a huge difference in the world. So why not develop and promote a game that offers families a fun game night while learning more about real life safety issues. Even knowing the process, the road to development was long and difficult, well over a year with many long days and nights. I had a tight budget so after 3 unsuccessful artists I had to hire a freelance artist from India (some funny stories here). I had to solicit help from family, friends, a college student, and some mothers to advise on the artwork and to develop and edit questions (special thanks to Cheryl Ward for her mompertise). I also had to learn a lot of new software to prepare and edit all of the material. And with the new toy regulations we went to great lengths to make sure the game was safe Ė going as far as testing the black dots on the die for lead content. The recounting of the entire process and hurdles requires a small book.
One of my main goals was to address the problems I had seen in other games, and to create fun and genuine lasting value for families. We made the board and box colorful and full of memorable graphics. By the way, Iím an avid volleyball player, so youíll see my caricature on the board, in the beach scene playing volleyball. I figured I should have some fun and a few laughs while on this journey. I designed the cards with the questions/answers on opposite sides so adults could read their own questions. This also allowed us the ability and the space to provide a more in-depth answer when needed. We also divided the 600 questions into Adult and Children Ė this allowed us to make about 1/3 of the kidís questions more captivating by including questions on bears, snakes, sharks, wilderness survival etc. We added a feature that is unique to Play It Safe Ė we created an Internet interface for all the questions. Every question in the game has a number printed on it, you can enter this on our website, and it will take you to the source for that question/answer. For the kids this might be a fun video or cartoon, and for the adults this may go to sources like Mayo Clinic, Red Cross, Safe Kids Org. etc. In keeping with our goal to add lasting value we included (4) Fingerprint ID/DNA kits, a Home Fire Escape Plan, an AMA First Aide Guide, the ability to create laminated ID cards for your children, and of course the exciting Winner Wheel. Itís also green Ė why not use recycled paper and vegetable based inks? It costs a little more, but do it right! You can read more about these in the product description on our website.
Iím sometimes asked ďSo, when did you become a safety expert?Ē Well, Iím actually not. We used a wide range of expert sources for our content and you can some of sources here - game details. By researching the data and information from these organizations we were able to determine the most critical safety categories and safety issues. Iím also asked about the fact that I donít have children so how could I make a family board game? Well, I once was a kid and played many games with my family. For a number of years I also volunteered with Kiwanis and Prevent Blindness America and I sincerely enjoy working with children. It takes a lot of thought to make a game valuable for adults, but it takes a lot of fun attitude to make a game kids will love.
"Every day, 17,000 children sustain injuries that could have been prevented; and preventable childhood injury is the leading cause of death and disability for kids ages 1 to 14." [1] The main focus of the game is to provide awareness and insight into those key areas where injury and deaths can be prevented.
So, thatís the short version of the story. We are now in the marketing phase Ė a truly daunting challenge. Itís a great game, with a great deal of thought, effort, and care put into it. I really believe if families read about and review the game they will look forward to adding it to their family game night. Itís a fun family game with lasting value Ė your kids will remember some of the lessons throughout their lives. Your family will certainly learn many important safety facts Ė but the reality is that it could save a life. For less than the price of a night at the movies, you could have a fun and fulfilling bonding experience with your family.
by Randy Martineau, developer of Play It Safe
[1]Safe Kids Worldwide
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