GameWhys Games

176 Co Rd 75 Truchas

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About John E. O'Neill

Interactive Art

     I needed a platform that spoke not only to a person’s eyes and heart but also engaged their mind and inspired/refreshed their soul. Furthermore, I was looking for a medium already an accepted part of life for most people and unlike traditional art was easily affordable for them. My dream was to upgrade such products to platforms for Art. My path led me first to Playing Cards.

The Admcadiam Minor Arcanum 

My first medium - Playing Cards recognized  as Art

     I studied all the different suit systems of the world and combined their influences into an unfolding series of designs that metaphorically explored the development of our awareness here on earth. I called my deck “the Admcadiam Minor Arcanum” *, and it turned out to be the world’s first international deck of Playing Cards. AG Muller of Switzerland bid to produce them for me because they said they wanted to be part of Playing Cards as Art. So, I was on the right track. The remainder of the original limited edition available here

     The cards were received well and exhibited in galleries from Tokyo to Stockholm. When the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art discovered my intent behind the card, they set me up with a lecture tour across the US called “Interactive Art for the Twenty-First Century”. The Video Game industry was just beginning at that time and after my presentation, at Stanford, I was invited to join it. I already recognized the potential in games to take people on journeys of perception within the safety of play so I moved from England to Silicon Valley.

mOre - Explore your relationship with Conflict - card game

The Situation - You play two tribes born of siblings of an earlier tribe. Although you have remained neighbors sharing a territory over the centuries, your ideologies have become separated by different interpretations causing you to dehumanize each other. This has justified you to expand into the Territory you share to secure homes for your tribe and displace your neighbor into the desert.

The Challenge - Play the visionaries of the two neighboring tribes, trapped in this cycle of war over Territory, who awaken to each others' humanity. When you see, and acknowledge, a match between one of his/her souls and one of yours, a new path to security for you all in the Bigger Picture opens to you both.

The Danger - If you choose to ignore the opportunity of uniting in the Bigger Picture, you can win the game by dominating the Territory but war will continue.

The player to secure the most homes in the Territory or the Bigger Picture WINS. However only by winning in the Bigger Picture do you stop the cycle of violence.

Game components - 37 cards 2.75"X 2.75". One illustrated rule sheet. One cotton draw-string bag. Made in USA.

" A powerful message for peace" Dr Toy 2015

Age: 10 to 100

Play time: 30 mins. – 45 mins

The story behind OYL (Occupy Your Life)

OYL - Occupy your Life

      Human beings, like all forms of Life, are programmed to succeed as Expression and Fulfillment. The expression is our contribution to Life. A tailor’s beautifully made suit is his Expression, his contribution to life. Fulfillment is what we get from Life and is comprised of two parts: the Fulfillment of Needs and the Fulfillment of Wants. Needs are the necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing, and light. Wants are the potentials of Life: the love of another and offspring In a healthy society, the Expressions of one become the Fulfillments of the Needs of another; the parts contribute to the good of the whole. However, as in all Life systems, there are predators: for Humans these are the Dollar Harvesters, who contribute nothing and live off the weaknesses and mistakes of others, converting their Lives into an endless crop of dollars.

SkyGarden - Explore your relationship with your Partner - a strategy card game


The situation - Play as a Gardener or Stargazer to complete your partner’s life with love, by surrounding him/her with flowers from your garden or Stars from the night skies.           

The challenge - Draw cards from your "Relationship" stack and use them to develop Feelings into Love, and Love into Care, as you move your cards toward each other.

The Danger - There really aren't any dangers in this game because it's about developing feelings. Not developing feelings will cause you to lose the game.

The first player to surround his or her partner with Flowers or Stars WINS.

NOTE: This game is inspired by the sense of completion people experience when they fall in love. I would like to think this sense of security that lovers feel when in love is captured by the metaphor of the Gardener “being there” with flowers for the StarGazer during the day, and the StarGazer “being there” with stars for the Gardener during the night.

Two players

Game components - 37 cards 2.75″ x 2.75″.  One Illustrated rule sheet.  One cotton drawstring bag.  Made in the USA

Age - 10 to 100

Playtime - 20 mins. - 40 mins


Humanity - Explore Your Relationship With Others - a strategy card game

The situation - Like everyone else in the world, you want to fulfill your Dreams.  A Dream is an Inspiration (Star symbol) connected to a Bloom (Flower symbol) using a Heart, a Mind, and at least one helping hand. Dream symbols connect according to the six color sequences in the rainbow (or color wheel).

The challenge - You and your partner have all the symbols needed to fulfill Dreams, but you only have them in three colors;  you need each other to make each others' dreams come true, by sharing what you have, offering helping hands, and allying Heart and Mind

The danger - Because symbols can only connect to each other when their colors are neighbors in the color wheel, the incompatibility of colors can not only frustrate Heart/Mind alliances but destroy the possibility of bringing future Dreams to fruition.

The first player to complete three Dreams WINS.

NOTE: This game addresses and corrects, the two major factors, that I see stunting the development of the Human Race: Inequality and Intolerance.

Two players

Game components - 37 cards 2.75″ x 2.75″.   One illustrated rule sheet.   One cotton drawstring bag.   Made in the USA.

Age - 10 to 100

Playtime - 20 mins - 30 mins

Paradice Environmental Art Game

The situation - One player plays the default human response to opportunity – and uses his/her turn to move a Human play piece through the forests, and Take trees. The other player/s uses his/her turn to connect two or more Human play pieces ”eye to eye” - to “see the Bigger Picture," and gain the power to Give trees back to the Forest. Player roles change constantly, according to chance and skill. 

The challenge - Only as a Giver can you win the game, but if the Taker takes too many trees from the forests, their forest spirits die and the Human play pieces operated by the Giver become depressed and unmovable.

The danger - if two Human play pieces become unmovable the Giver fails, the game is reset, and the Taker gets an opportunity to be the Giver.

The player who returns all the trees to the Forests by uniting ALL the Human play pieces WINS as a steward of the forests.

NOTE: This game was inspired by the deforestation of the Amazon and other rain forests, and lately, I am glad to say, it is getting a good reception in Brazil.

Two players

Age: 10 to 100

Playtime: 30 mins to 60 mins

SPECIAL NOTE - The Art version of Paradice was developed with the Museum of Modern Art as a limited edition in 2007. It sold initially across the US through major Art Galleries including SFMOMA, LAICA, Chicago Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum, New York. This version plays the same way as the card and Eco version and makes a perfect coffee table centerpiece that is more than just decoration. For signature and dedication by the artist applied to the beveled platform of the board please call.

 “A game designed to illustrate the fragile balance between humanity and nature” - Home and Garden Magazine.

 “This game is like no other, and I recommend it to anyone on the journey of self-discovery. It is indeed a masterly crafted expression of art mimicking life” - Planet Lightworks magazine.