Luanga Nuwame, the Homemade Games Guru, has dedicated considerable effort to teaching people how to make their own home made games. A professional game designer himself, Lue has produced a series of instructional videos on the design and production of personalized toys and games using only household materials. For example, a homemade beanbag toss, and, for another example, a set of magnetic refrigerator checkers.
For Lue, the making at home part of the homemade game, regardless of what game gets made or whether or not it’s actually made at home, is key. Because, he explains, if you make a game, you can make it your own. You can embed pictures of family members or photos of last summer’s vacation, making the game into a unique expression of the people for whom it is designed. The people at home. Yourself. Your extended family and friends.
Lue believes that making a personalized game helps people create something meaningful for them, personally. The “deep” fun part of it all, comes from people making the game together, for each other, and from the experience of seeing each other play a game that really reflects their lives together – experiences, favorite things, silly memories.
Making a game together helps create a closer family, explains Lue. “The fun of it lies in the interaction, conversation, contact with everyone. At the same time, making a game that allows you to express “you,” means that every time you play the game, you are the star. Having something unique, that expresses me, uniquely, is deeply fun.”
As a designer and instructor, Lue sees himself as being able to give families something that is really up to them to interpret, to personalize. He focuses on giving families the basics, knowing that with this kind of clarity, families and friends will provide their own content and ensuring it reflects their own selves. And therein, in the playful and personal connection between parent and child, friend and family, explains Lue, lies the fun.