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In this brief, 3-minute video clip, retired Supreme Court Justice Souter best summarizes the reason we are developing our Civic Life series of games:

 

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Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

This is our future. Starting today, everything changes.

 SpaceX unveils its Interplanetary Transport System:

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The Future Revealed at Elbowfish

Dear supporters, backers, customers & friends,

Back in 2013 my daughter, Leana, and I founded Elbowfish in Portland, Oregon, to make high quality, engaging games that made a difference.

To establish our new brand without relying on outside funding, we bootstrapped a pair of original tabletop games:

  • In 2014, our generous Kickstarter backers helped us fund Antimatter Matters: A Quantum Physics Board Game (Really!). Antimatter Matters shipped in early 2015, and was honored as an IndieCade Award Finalist and IndieCade Festival Selection. (Now just $39 on Amazon)
  • In 2015, we Kickstarted and shipped JUX, the collaborative storytelling game for creative thinkers. JUX includes an introduction to critical thinking authored by Prof. Peter Boghossian. (On Amazon for just $9)

We had no budget for marketing or promotion. The quality of our products, the enthusiasm of our backers, and word-of-mouth allowed us to successfully bring our first two products to market.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way—some more painful (and costly) than others. I will share more details in another update. (yes, that includes the super-scientist card for certain Antimatter Matter backers!)

Leana left Elbowfish to pursue other adventures at the end of 2015. I continued to manage the company, offering both of our existing games on Amazon and in game stores, while working through various scenarios and determining next steps. Last year, I spent months consulting with an experienced pioneer in both traditional and interactive entertainment down in Burbank, CA. That exploration helped me recommit to building Elbowfish, and focused my thinking on essential next steps.

Earlier this year, I developed a funding proposal for an innovative, multiplayer eSports game – the first in a series of related games, spanning multiple media and multiple platforms, all set in the near-future, at the dawn of a new human civilization on Mars. I began to assemble a talented team of senior game developers, collaborators and production partners to design, develop and produce the first game.

As I crunched the numbers and wrote our proposal, it became clear that the budget for staffing, design & development, testing, community management and support would require an investment of a million US dollars a year for two years. That doesn’t include several million more needed for launch, promotion, and marketing of a unique title in a crowded field.

I am exploring some leads, but I don’t have the luxury of spending the time required to pursue funding at this scale. (If you are interested in this funding opportunity, or know someone who may be, please contact me directly.)

Meanwhile, Elbowfish can’t afford to rest on our laurels. So, we have begun development of a cool new series of smaller, crowdfunded games (analog and digital) around a new theme: Civic life.

Assuming that we in the US survive the November election, that the UK survives Brexit, and that other free nations face down their own, homegrown nationalistic, authoritarian threats, we will all need to clean up our act and do better.

No society can remain free without active citizens, who are equipped with both the civic knowledge and the critical thinking tools required to make smart, informed choices with their voices and their votes.

If we do not understand how the systems that affect us really work, we can’t make informed decisions. And, if we do not learn how to think for ourselves, we will be in continual danger of being told what to think by others.

Each game in this new series will model a specific, vital civic skill in a fun, entertaining way. As always, great game design and high production values are at the core of our vision.

More to come in future updates soon.

P.S. I have lowered the price of Antimatter Matters to $39 and JUX to just $9. September is the month when Amazon determines which products can be sold during its Holiday Store season, so it would be a great time to stock up on games for your friends and loved ones. Complete your holiday shopping early!

P.P.S. I have received many inquiries about renewing international orders (at the moment, online orders are availably only via Amazon.com in the US). One of the challenges of a small business is the cost of international shipping, particularly of a heavy game like Antimatter Matters. Elbowfish will be expanding availability of all of our games to more countries in the coming months, and we will return to shipping anywhere in the world as soon as practical.

Peace, love and science,

David, your Elbowfish in Chief

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Our Stand Against The Gun Industry

Elbowfish is, and always has been, a triple-bottom line company, dedicated to making a positive difference in our community and the world, in the way we treat our team, and in our commitment to focus on building a business than achieves sustainability by focusing on maximizing quality and service, rather than on maximizing profit.

As we embark upon our next phase in growth, I want to make explicit what has always been a core principle of mine and our company:

Elbowfish will NOT partner with, collaborate with, accept sponsorships, investments or grants from, nor engage in any way with companies or organizations whose primary focus and/or revenue source is the design, development, manufacture, distribution and/or promotion of firearms.

The games we design, develop, publish and/or promote will not glorify gun violence, diminish the pain and suffering they cause, or promote use of firearms as a means of conflict resolution.

As Founder and CEO of Elbowfish, I am committed to ensuring that we contribute, in our own small way, to a more peaceful, tolerant and safe world. As a military veteran and former Executive Director of Beyond War, I am committed to helping reduce the death and destruction – and climate of fear – created by the absurd proliferation of privately owned firearms in the US. With 4.4% of the global population, Americans own nearly half of all privately owns guns in the world. Enough.

If guns are, in any way, your business, we don’t want your business.

Peace,

David Galiel, Founder & CEO of Elbowfish LLC

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Where to find our games

Online, on Amazon:

Antimatter Matters

JUX

Also at many fine bricks-and-mortar retail stores, including:

Guardian Games – Portland, Oregon

IMOGAP (the Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery) – Beaverton, Oregon

Exploratorium (at physical store only) – San Francisco, California

Don’t see your Friendly Local Game Store here?

First check with them, as this list is by no means complete.

Then, ask them to CONTACT US and arrange to carry our games!!

(If your local store is out of stock, let us know and we can expedite a shipment to them.)

We NEVER undersell local game stores, we offer the same prices online.

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Elbowfish Hosts OMSI After Dark Game Masters Panel Feb 24

Elbowfish is proud to be a Community Sponsor of a special OMSI After Dark: Gaming, in conjunction with OMSI’s ongoing “Game Masters” exhibit.

Elbowfish Founder & CEO David Galiel moderates a Portland all-star Game Masters panel about the future of games.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
21+ Only | IDs Required

OMSI After Dark starts at 6:00PM
Game Masters Panel at 7:00PM in the Planetarium.


ATOMS & BITS: Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?

640px-Paul_Gauguin_-_D'ou_venons-nous

  • We will explore questions such as:
  • Is there a place for “Atom games” – e.g., board games, card games, parlor games etc. – in a digital world?
  • Do genre/platform/medium distinctions still matter?
  • ARGs, Pervasive Games, Mobile AR, eSports – what’s next in interactive entertainment?
  • 100 Eohippuses or one Dromornis?

This WILL be a sold-out event! Get your tickets today!


Details & link to tickets


THE PANELISTS:

Jonathan Spencer Levy
Jonathan is an Emmy award-winning creative director with over 20 years’ experience delivering projects for Fortune 100 firms including Activision, Sony, Nike, MIT, US Army, ABC, Warner Bros, and Disney. His extensive portfolio includes interactive, product, environmental, multi-platform gaming, film & television, and digital marketing. He is Chair of IDSA Oregon and Creative Director at Kaia Inc.

Andrew Mayer
Andrew Mayer has been a creative director, UX designer and user experience consultant for over 20 years, working with companies like Sony, SGN and the Cartoon Network to create best-selling console, mobile, and board games. His new book, “The Process of Successful Game Design”, is coming out in March.

Erika Ruhl
In between planning world domination and power napping, Erika has run the Mt. Hood Community College Computer Game Development major for the past 7 years and won an award for Excellence in Teaching. She teaches a variety of game and STEM classes and finds joy wherever art and technology intersect.

Andrew Stern
Andrew was a designer and engineer of the interactive drama Façade (2005), Dogz, Catz, Oddballz and Babyz (1995-1999), and Touch Pets for iOS (2009-2011). He founded the Portland studio Stumptown Game Machine, and recently co-founded Playabl.

Ben Throop
Ben Throop is the creator of Headmaster, a launch title for the upcoming PlayStation VR. Prior to his independent work, Ben was a game director at Activision studio Vicarious Visions.

David Galiel (Moderator)
David Galiel is founder & CEO of Elbowfish. He has worked as transmedia storyteller, MMO executive producer, new media consultant, game designer and professional musician, and has led integration of interactive entertainment into film, television and education productions. He also led an international nonprofit & consulted for the US government. He can’t seem to make up his mind.


 

Details & link to tickets


P.S. Elbowfish will also have a demo table at the event, and our games will be on sale. Come say hi!

 

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Through Dec 31, 10% of every sale donated to Institute of International Education

Through December 31, Elbowfish will donate 10% of every sale to the Institute of International Education, http://www.iie.org/.

IIE is a wonderful, independent not-for-profit whose mission is “to advance international education and access to education worldwide.”

They  accomplish this by:

  • managing scholarships, training, exchange and leadership programs
  • conducting research and facilitating policy dialogue on global higher education
  • protecting scholarship around the world

IIE has been quietly changing lives since 1919. They are rated 4 stars (out of 4) on Charity Navigator, and have consistently been noted for their transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility.

You can read more about who they are and the wonderful work they do on their website: http://www.iie.org/

We are proud to contribute in our own modest way to helping a cause dear to our heart. Education, particularly education in critical thinking and the scientific method, is the catalyst that energizes all constructive social change. There is nothing more powerful than the power to think. Help us, get a great game, and help IIE make a difference by ordering Antimatter Matters and/or JUX today.

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We’re On The YouTubes!

Jessie Hendricks has an excellent, entertaining, informative and hilarious YouTube show called “Everyday Science” (check out her 30 “Element a day in May” videos!) She recently did an unboxing of our new game, JUX, (a collaborative, storytelling game for creative thinkers) with a special guest. Check it out! Then, subscribe to her channel.

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Like Holiday Ads? Neither Do We. So, We Lowered Our Prices Instead!

I don’t know anyone who ever said, “please, sir, may I have some more…advertising”? So, rather than add to the torrent of ads bombarding us all during and in the run up to the holidays, Elbowfish has decided to pass on the savings to you, your family & friends, to help you get a head start on holiday gift shopping.

Starting today, until Thanksgiving, we have lowered our prices to the lowest they have ever been.

Antimatter Matters is just $49 – 29% off the MSRP of $69.

JUX is just $19 – 24% of the MSRP of $25.

So, this is your chance – help us fight the scourge of holiday advertising and spread the word – “Those crazy Elbowfish are at it again!!”

Peace, love and stories,

David & the Elbowfish

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Welcome to our new website. Pardon the dust.

Thanks for visiting! Feel free to take a look around—Even though we haven’t put the final coat of paint on this place (a fancy way of saying we haven’t put the Elbowfish brand on it), most everything works. In fact, you can check out our games, Antimatter Matters and JUX , and even buy copies, via Amazon, directly on this site.

NOTE: Antimatter Matters is $10 off for a limited time, and JUX is just $25. Save 5% if you buy both. (If you have an Amazon account, shipping may even be FREE, depending on your location & what you order.)

Have fun!

P.S. In the coming days, we’ll be spiffing things up, moving stuff from our old site, and adding shiny new content for you to enjoy. We also have some new community features coming. You’ll have to check back to learn about those.

Take a swim and let us know if anything seems out of place.

–David Galiel, Co-Founder & CEO, Elbowfish