Let’s Hack Halloween

Halloween is a game that might as well be called “Get Candy.”

Hack Halloween is a game design challenge to come up with activities to compete with Get Candy that meet the following two objectives:

More Fun – children must willingly play your game over the “Get Candy” game because it is more fun, not because they are forced to.

Less Sugar – children may consume candy, but the goal is to reduce total calorie intake willingly, not because it is required.

Here are the rules to follow in designing your game:

Getting candy is a valid move. Your game cannot have a rule like, “You must eat broccoli and you must not eat candy.” That’s no fun for the kids and you are just being a dictator. However, if your game gets kids to have so much fun eating broccoli that they choose not to eat candy then you’ve created an awesome game.

It must be easy for non-players to participate. When a child rings a doorbell the adult who answers expects to be giving candy, and under the rules of your game it must be OK for them to do that. However, your game should offer an alternative interaction. (See Jokes for Treats and Trinkets for Treats as examples.)

Instructions must fit on one side of one piece of paper. The top half should explain the game to parents and the bottom half is for the child to give to non-players explaining their role. For examples, see: Jokes for Treats and Trinkets for Treats.

Download a Word doc template here. Fill it in with your game description and send it as an attachment to: Brooke@BrookeAllen.com

(Note: This idea grew out of a discussion at an Game Based Learning Meetup in New York City on October 29, 2015. Thanks to Richard Carey, Joe Ballou, and Annabel Alafriz for organizing and leading the meetup.)


Trinkets for Treats

This is a game where the child offers to give candy in exchange for a trinket: perhaps a toy that someone has outgrown, a book, or even a gift the child would enjoy giving to someone else.

The child is always happy to accept candy if for no other reason than to trade it with the next person for something healthier.

Download the instructions here.