2018 IDEA Sandbox Boot Camp - Ethical Issues (Board Game)

By Carson Deveau

Ethical Issues is a party game created by Colin MacIntosh, Heather McIntosh and Emilo Marcovici that requires players to come up with ridiculous answers to ridiculous ethical questions.

The trio came up with the idea after going to the Board Room Café a few weeks ago and playing a few games for inspiration. After playing lots of games there, the group realized that they wanted their game to be simple, fun, and something that doesn’t require players to have to read the instructions.

The game came together after MacIntosh, a third year engineering student at Dalhousie, thought of popular games like Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme?, which both makes the players come up with solutions to whacky questions, and used this base concept for their own game. Though the trio had the core concept of their board game figured out, they still had trouble putting the final touches on it. This was until McIntosh, a first year design student at NSCAD University, had the idea to make players answer the whacky questions with either a poem or a comic strip, and to make it even trickery for the players, then added a pile of cards that have certain words on them that the player must use in their answer.

After finalizing the mechanics, the group used the remainder of their time to finish up the design of their game. The trio said they would not have been able to get their board game done if it wasn’t for the skills and knowledge that they have received so far from the IDEA Sandbox boot camp.

“One of the biggest things that the (IDEA Sandbox) boot camp has helped me with so far is the ability to throw out ideas to others, and not be worried if they’re good or bad. But to just be able to keep pushing out ideas with the hopes that one of them will lead you somewhere,” said McIntosh.

MacIntosh said the boot camp has taught him to look at products with more a business sense than he had done before.

“Just how to make yourself, and your product different from ones that are already on the market. Even a little advantage you have over a similar product can be huge in the eyes of the target audience.”

When asked about the IDEA Sandbox boot camp’s instructors, who all come from an engineering, business, or design background like the participants, and how they helped the trio with their board game throughout the process, Marcovici couldn’t thank them enough.

“The instructors were great because they all have great experience in a wide variety of subjects surrounding product design. This was great if we had a problem with anything because we could just ask them. Plus, the schedule they set for us to work on our board game kept us on track and focused,” said the commerce student from Dalhousie.   

From left to right: Emilo Marcovici, Colin MacIntosh & Heather McIntosh

From left to right: Emilo Marcovici, Colin MacIntosh & Heather McIntosh