Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grateful Dead: The Game

As tells it:

Grateful Dead: The Game by University Games is the perfect game for Grateful Dead fans! Players travel through time with the Grateful Dead, collecting concert tickets along the way by answering both interactive and trivia-oriented questions. The team that collects the most tickets wins!

Name the next lyrics to a song, get your teammates to guess which song you are humming or name where the Dead played their only New Year's Eve concert outside the San Francisco Bay area. Each will win your team a ticket. And when you land on or spin “I Need a Miracle Ticket,” it’s time to wager just how much you know!

Packed with art and imagery of the Grateful Dead and the times they defined, this game takes players on a multi-sensory trip with the Dead, celebrating their music and history.

Game comes with game board, spinner, four dancing skeleton game pieces, over 900 questions about the Dead, 100 concert tickets and instructions. For 2 or more adult players.

Finally a game I can beat my family at during the Holidays!!!

Paul Liberatore, the greatest Dead journalist, reviews the game in his paper the Marin Independent Journal:

FOR 30 years, the Grateful Dead were one of America's greatest rock bands. Now they're a board game.

"Grateful Dead, The Game" is due in select stores next week and will be available online from

Produced by University Games in San Francisco, it was inspired by the Deadheads who followed the band from concert to concert across the country like a tie-dye tribe.

"It's a game that intended to relive the experience of traveling with the Dead on the road," said Bob Moog, president of University Games. "We picture on the board some of the Dead's best-known concerts, from their very first in Menlo Park to their very last at Soldier Field in Chicago. Whoever collects the most tickets wins."

The colorful board features photos from Bay Area rock photographer Jay Blakesberg as well as the iconographic art work - dancing bears, skeletons with top hats and the signature skull and lightning bolt - that have been associated with the legendary Marin-based band for decades.

The package includes four dancing skeleton game pieces, cards with more than 900 multiple-choice and open-ended trivia questions and a spinner that players hope will land on "I Need a Miracle," a bonus card that's the equivalent of Monopoly's "Get Out of Jail Free."

Players collect concert tickets from different decades by answering questions like "Did or Didn't" (the Grateful Dead chose their name on Halloween in 1965), guessing songs like "Friend of the Devil" or "Truckin'" that your teammate hums, and a "Name Who" category that asks questions such as "Which member of the Dead was a no-show at their 1994 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?"

Moog, 50, began attending Dead shows when he was a student at Stanford.

He worked with two young researchers, Elise Gresch, 31, and Melissa Fortunato, 24, who had never been to a Dead concert.

"They totally fell in love with the Grateful Dead," Moog said. "They even went to Jerry Garcia's birthday party at Jerry Garcia Park."

He said market research showed that the game appeals to the over-45 set "who were Deadheads or just like the '60s. And we were surprised that there's a big group of people between 16 and 25 who are Deadheads," he noted. "It's kind of weird, but they're entranced with the story of the Grateful Dead and the music."

Not surprisingly, their research also showed that the people who shop at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us would not be inclined to snatch up this game as a Christmas present.

"The best places to sell it are stores where people who are akin to Grateful Dead culture shop," Moog said, naming online Web sites and hip emporiums like Urban Outfitters and the T-shirt shops on Haight Street.

The game, which retails for $29.95, was licensed to University Games by Grateful Dead Productions a year ago, just before the band's deal with Rhino Entertainment to handle all its business and recordings.

"It's a miracle that we were able to pull this off," Moog said.

It's just the latest in a long line of Grateful Dead merchandise - T-shirts, ties, hats, even Jerry Garcia dolls - that has accelerated since Garcia's death in 1995.

But like the band itself, the Grateful Dead game is more about creating community than anything else, Moog said.

"When you play, you get to know each other better by discussing where you were at a certain concert, who you were with, what you were doing," he said. "The questions lead to really funny stories and some great memories. It's a social interaction thing that I think people are going to have fun with. Even the skeptics."

Wonder if there is any product left...


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