Makanatsu

viktoria playing makanatsu
110 million new ideas in a deck of cards. Get one: makanatsu.com

Makanatsu is a game for 3-15 players that aims to re-invent how innovations are invented. 108 cards with carefully selected word. Draw 4 cards and then within 3 minutes create a pitch for an innovation, a new disruptive business or something that benefits mankind. The short amount of time and the unique blend of words sets your brain in a state of “superconductivity” where the logical part realizes that it won’t have time to interfere with the creative part using its standard arsenal of “ifs” and “buts”. Instead it joins the creative process. When ending a game of Makanatsu the players will have a brain that is fired up and ready to think new bold thoughts, a whole lot of new ideas.

As small children we never have to be told to use our imagination. From the moment we rise in the morning until we fall asleep at night we build worlds where there are literally no limits and where anything could happen. Then we grow up. Sitting by a desk all day wrestling budgets and deadlines we seldom get the time to step out of our minds beaten path. Research shows us that creativity seldom thrive in industrialized structures but rather in dynamic social situations. Great ideas are born when meeting other people in a non-expecting environment, over a cup of coffee or having a drink after work. Ideas also appears when confronted with new impressions. Which is what happens when you play a game of Makanatsu.

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Makanatsu is created by Håkan Lidbo and Ebrahim Isaacs – two serial entrepreneurs and founders of the Stockholmian creative agency Gotofuture. We work partly with combining new technology with music and art, together with global brands or on our own, and partly with helping companies with their creative processes.

Gotofuture is constantly exploring new technologies and researching the field of creativity. As soon as we stumble upon a new technology our default setting is “What can be done with this tech that is fun and inspiring?” Artificial Intelligence is of course on our radar as this is a field that will impact mankind more than any other technology has done ever before. One of the sayings that surrounds the field is that AI would have a really hard time replacing human creativity. So we wondered if it would be possible to build a simple inventor app. An app that randomly described new inventions good enough for us humans to understand and possibly make happen. As we filled the app with thousands of words, we soon lost overview of how these words interacted with each other. We decided to print some words out and put them on a table in order to evaluate different combinations “hands on”. A couple of minutes later we looked at each other smiling – we knew exactly how to proceed with this project. We shut down the computer and started to make a card game instead. Testing words and trying out rules we soon had a beta version of the game ready. The words and the rules allowed you to come up with, literally, millions of new ideas – and it was surprisingly fun to play!

We have given the game the name Makanatsu as a tribute to the Japanese inventor dr. Nakamats. He has filed 4000 patents – some of his ideas you will find unnecessary – some even ridiculous but some that have the unmistakable sign of true genius! Quite a lot like what you will end up with after a game of Makanatsu!

Soon we invited some friends over, testing the beta version of the game. They found it fun and useful, and some friends invited us to run Makanatsu workshops at their companies and places of work. At these workshops we were frequently asked if we could sell them a deck of Makanatsu or two. But we had to say no, since the few decks we owned were made in an extremely small series and therefore ridiculously expensive and taking weeks to produce. We started to realize that Makanatsu might be something really beneficial and fun for companies, schools, libraryes, well – all of mankind. So here we go: We are now taking Makanatsu – the innovation game – to Kickstarter. We hope some of you will be intrigued enough to sign up for a deck or two so that we could make that larger order that makes Makanatsu reasonably priced. We are looking forward to shipping Makanatsu to the whole world and we are even more so looking forward to see some of the ideas that you will come up with! Over at Makanatsu.com we will feature the best ideas that we find on the web hashtagged #makanatsu. We have this idea that Makanatsu.com eventually could become a space where ideas from all over the world meet with creatives and fans. A place where future Kickstarters are kickstarted!