Fluxx Love Stories
by Andrew Looney

I love my job. As a game designer, I bring people together, and I entertain them, through my games. It gives me a special thrill, knowing that at this very minute, people are having fun doing something that I showed them how to do. Whenever a group sits together and has fun playing an Andy Looney game, the joy I've brought to the world keeps on expanding. I don't think I can really express how wonderful this feels.

But as delightful as it is to know that others have laughed and had fun with my creations, what's even better are the stories I hear about the way my games -- and in particular, Fluxx -- have made a real difference in their lives. These are what I call the Fluxx Love Stories. I'd like to share a few of those here.

I think the first such story I heard came in the form of an email which was one of our earliest entries in a file we now call the Testimonial of the Week. I'd like to just quote Barbara's message verbatim right here:

"Do you know what you people have done to my marriage? We've turned OFF the television after the kids go to bed and actually have conversations over hand after hand of Fluxx. Had we had Fluxx sooner, we could have saved hundreds of dollars on marriage counseling!"

Wow! Fluxx isn't just fun, it's actually saving marriages! Not only that, it's getting involved in the start of marriages as well. Last month at Origins, I met a charming couple named Josh and Teddi. They'd just gotten engaged, in a tender moment that featured a Fluxx card! Josh used a blank Fluxx card to create the special goal, "Live Happily Ever After" with the message "Teddi, Will You Marry Me?" and played it during a game. (Josh has been a fan of our games since first buying a case from us at our very first Origins booth. He knew Teddi was the girl for him when he told her he liked games and she asked if he'd ever heard of Fluxx.) Best Wishes to Teddi and Josh!

Obviously, it's way-cool to see my game being used as a method for Popping the Question. But even more amazing was the story of the couple who planned their whole wedding around Fluxx!

Each invitation to the wedding of DeeAnn & Curtis included a set of 4 custom-made Fluxx cards. Using the do-it-yourself expansion cards we sell, called Fluxx Blanxx, they'd created a mini-expansion of their own, and included a set in every invitation. The four special cards they created were as follows:

  • Keeper: Marriage (featuring a nifty-looking hand-drawn wedding ring)
  • Goal: Love and Marriage (which said "please join us to celebrate our wedding" with their names and wedding particulars in the place where it normally would say "You win if you have Love and Marriage on the table.")
  • New Rule: Community Property (which said "Yours + Mine = Ours: Keepers are shared among players. Thus, if one player has Love showing while another has Marriage, both win if the Love and Marriage goal is played.")
  • Action: Mingle (which said "Mix everyone's hands together and deal the cards back evenly. Start with yourself. Reception to follow the wedding ceremony.")

Also included where special directions, which read as follows: "How to Play the Game of Love: Come to the wedding! You received four Fluxx expansion cards with this invitation, and you need a complete Fluxx deck to play. Conveniently enough, one Fluxx deck will be on each table at the reception."

It sounded like a really groovy wedding, and I'm honored to have been a part of it, as it were. Best wishes to Curtis & DeeAnn!

But not all Fluxx Love Stories are tales of romance. Some are stories of the human struggle, up to and including Death. I'll never forget playing Fluxx at Origins a few years ago with a beautiful little girl and her mom. The girl had diabetes, and it was really touching to see their special Fluxx deck, which contained a whole bunch of extra cards they'd created that related to the issues of coping with this disease. Fluxx had become not just fun, but also a way of learning about how to cope and survive with their particular life challenges!

Then there's the story I heard from a fan about how Fluxx had helped a group overcome grief. He'd been at a convention where an important elderly gentlemen, the guest of honor I believe, had collapsed and *died* right there at the event! Can you imagine coping with the aftermath of that? Well, for this guy and the people he was with, it was round after round of Fluxx that got them through that long, difficult night.

I'm sure there are others that I've heard but I can't remember just now, and I'm sure I'll hear many more in the years to come -- and I'll never tire of hearing them. If you've got a Fluxx Love Story, please send it to me! Thanks!

I originally wrote this article for Pyramid Magazine, published by Steve Jackson Games. It appeared in their August 12th, 2005 edition.

Update #1: Steve & Amy's Wedding, June 30th, 2006

Here's another set of Wedding-related home-grown Keepers, which Steve & Amy were giving away when they got married between Fluxx Tournaments at the 7th Big Experiment in 2006. (Read all about it in that week's WWN.)

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