Hi OACers,

I am Jesse Harasta, a grad student in cultural anthropology at Syracuse University and the owner of a business called Westcott Books and Games.  I've been trying to fuse my love of games and my desire to teach anthropological concepts for some time and the product is a card game I call "Yams!" that I am releasing on a website called Kickstarter.  One of my colleagues at SU suggested that OAC might be a great place to spread the word about the game.

In Yams!, players take the roles of island leaders in the 1890s competing for the position of Paramount Chief of the Trobriands.  Players gather followers and arable land, harvest yams (which serve as currency in the game), host grand competitive feasts, organize kula expeditions and undermine each other through deception, sorcery and theft.  The game is for 2-4 players and takes about an hour to play.  I have attempted wherever possible to capture both the details and the spirit of Malinowski's work but also to widen the realm of historical games (which are ridiculously Euro-centric) for a broader audience.

In order to raise funds for making Yams! a reality, I turned to a website called Kickstarter.  Here is the link to my page where you can see images of the cards and an explanatory video.  On kickstarter, people post up projects and call for support.  Interested individuals then make donations and, in return are given tangible rewards.  In the case of Yams!, at the $25 level, supporters receive a copy of the game once it is printed, thus the website basically serves as a pre-order system.  As the website is run by Amazon, it has the same ease and security of that larger site.  However, in order to ensure that only quality projects get funded, I needed to both set a concrete goal ($3,000 though I can go over) and a limited time (until August 23rd); if I don't reach my goal by that time, all donations are returned.  So, time is of the essence and I need your help in making this project a reality.

Thanks in advance for any interest and support you might be able to give and I can answer any questions about the game either here or on my email jesse@yamsthegame.com!


PS: I've attached a couple of images from the game if you're curious. Thanks! -J

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Comment by Denice Szafran on February 17, 2013 at 8:49pm
Two thumbs up for the game, we have it at Geneseo and it's great!


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