I made a short card game about the daily struggles of people with alcoholism. I’m an alcoholic myself. I only realized it when the Bloomington Police Department invited me to stay with them for a night. They even took care of my car for me, which was nice. In all seriousness, I’m grateful they arrested me. It put me into recovery. Life’s a lot better now.
Like alcoholism, the AA Game is not about fun. It tells stories, real stories that I have heard in therapy and AA meetings. Names removed of course. Players go back and forth between Drinking and Recovery. When you’re Drinking in the game, you get Problem cards. If a player stays in Drinking too long, problems accumulate until you die; the Death cards tell real stories of the things we’ve all heard, people dying because of their drinking. But most players hit bottom and some point prior to dying, and they go into Recovery. During Recovery, you have to “work off” your problems and try not to relapse. The Recovery cards have those sayings that we all know – ‘Fake it til you make it,’ ‘I only drank on big occasions, like the grand opening of a pack of cigarettes,’ things like that. To get out from under your problems, you also need the help of the other players. But they can’t help you if they’re drinking, or if you are. However, there are special cards called “Bill W.” that can really save your bacon. There are 12 Bill W. cards, and each one has one of the steps on it. Bill W. was the founder of AA.
The whole game takes 10-20 minutes to play and you could have as many as 6 players. I made it for people to use in therapy sessions and especially for younger people (14+), because they may not know what kind of bad stuff lies down the road if they don’t control their use. The rule book has an example of play in it so the game is not hard to learn.
The AA Game is available at The Game Crafter for $15.34. I’m not looking to make money off this, that price is the actual cost of the game. If I get any proceeds, I will donate them to AA. If you would be so kind as to refer the game to therapists, counselors, educators, law enforcement, or anyone you might suspect would benefit from a quick intro to AA, I would be grateful.
Respectfully submitted in honor of the AA community, which has been so important to me in my own recovery.
[Update January 7, 2020: Today is my sobriety date. 8 years sober. Thank you, AA. Interesting facts about my experience: My DUI was on January 6, the Epiphany, the day when Christians celebrate the visit of the three wise kings. My arresting officer’s name was Weisheit: German for ‘wisdom.’ You could say I had a true Epiphany, being visited by a wise man.]