"Last Captain Bonk"

Internet Meme Card Game

IMCD is a competitive trading card game initially designed by my son Shannon, an 11-year old pre-teen internet user. I helped to guide the statistics and game balance while adhering to his original vision of the game as a fractured collection of real-world and internet influences of the card themes. As per a study published by PEW Research (‘Teens, Technology & Friendships') much of the under-20 American culture today interacts with friends on social media every day. In some cases, spending more time online than live and in other cases with friends acquired solely online. This internet usage has caused language and communication to be shaped by the hardware into catchphrases and imagery that result in internet ‘memes’. Memes are catchphrases and layered in-jokes that are the result of anonymous creation and definition, being used and re-used to add context to internet conversations.

This card game is a mix of two worlds: real-time card games that necessitate live players, and an array of long-lived internet memes, which indicate time alone on the internet. This coalescing of two divergent worlds takes things specific to the world of an 10 – 13 year old and makes them the fodder for the characters in the game: video game characters (“Creepers” from Minecraft), animal pets (The “Doge” meme) and television shows (Goudra from “Pokemon”).

Similar to popular catchphrase lines from a movie, television show or play, these memes are more complex; a meme may start by one anonymous individual, but become a cult catchphrase through viral propagation that no single online person can predict nor control. It is instead the aggregate product of a virtual and online society. It is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads from person to person via the Internet usually in online forum discussions (or observations) and sometimes gains other meanings or double-entedres through mimicry.

The initial art and design was done entirely by Shannon and I helped to tighten the game loops and power balance in the card stack through excel sheets and diagrams. We worked with his school, Paseo Del Rey Steam Magnate, to allow his peers to play-test it to ensure authenticity of the humor and mindset of the 8- 13 year old demographic of this card game.