Gyft was created as an experiment to come up with ways for people to help bridge the barriers of social interaction, and to help us redefine valuable communication. Some cards are designed to push boundaries, some to deepen existing relationships, and some to help start new ones. Some cards create spectacles to amuse a whole crowd of onlookers, and some are meant to provoke thought only in the holder of the card. Since the whole community can contribute, the subject matter runs the gamut. To really "get it," it'd be useful to explore the ideas behind the concept of Gift Culture.
The game's first iteration was created by Omspun, a salon dedicated to the exploration of all things social. We made 400 cards which were laminated and attached to strings for wearing around the neck, and unleashed them at Burning Flipside, a temporary autonomous city (to say the least) of hundreds of insanely creative people. It was a great success, so we whipped up a batch of 1500 cards and took them to Burning Man where we'd find many thousands of creative people. Since then we've done another 800 cards for the next Flipside and 1500 for England's Glastonbury Festival, art events in Austin and repeat visits to Black Rock City since then. We hope the 10,000+ cards visit places far and wide.
The next step is to bring the game to society as we know it and help build a community around the people whose lives have and will be enriched and changed by playing. We want to see what happens when people start coming up with their own ideas for interaction and share them with the community. All we're providing is an infrastructure. The game ultimately belongs to the players.