1. You meet interesting people.
You can absolutely invite friends who you’ve known forever to play, but when you make some room in your life for new and interesting folks that are drawn to the idea of connecting over meaningful conversation, you may discover more interesting people in your life! Playing Sparked can be an amazing opportunity to hear stories that surprise and delight you! There’s an opportunity to learn more from others when drawing upon a wider range of individuals. I’ve played with women who have traveled and come from various countries around the world, and women who have very different backgrounds and viewpoints than myself. People often talk about the importance of inclusive communities. The truth is, there are fewer opportunities than ever to meet with people who have DIFFERENT interests and ideas because there are so many opportunities to connect with people who share interests and ideas.
2. You talk about things that you don’t normally talk about with strangers.
People who are outside of your immediate circle of friends are more likely to have perspectives and stories that differ from your own. The questions in the game give everyone opportunities to reflect on their lives at a level that feels comfortable for them. Perhaps you’ve got dreams that your friends haven’t heard, but even if they heard them, they don’t have the resources to support you in any way. What I’ve seen again and again, is that when women show up to play, resources and opportunities expand for them. Sometimes, it’s learning about places to travel to and dream about, sometimes it’s a woman getting the legal help she’s been needing from a lawyer who doesn’t have any stakes on the case, and sometimes it’s a skill that you have, that someone else wants to learn. The connections that can be made over a game of Sparked are much deeper and more meaningful than your typical networking events.
3. There is power in speaking your truths with authenticity.
So often, we hold in our thoughts, our feelings, our stories, and the opportunities we wish to offer others. We don’t always invite in the support that we need, and we don’t necessarily have models to ask for what we want. Sometimes, it takes reading a question on a card, to help us speak our truths, to ask for the support we need, or to recognize something that we’ve been procrastinating. Sometimes, hearing the aspirations of other women gives us new ideas about how we want to live, how we want to treat others, and how we want to be in this world. When we hear other women’s stories, we connect, we empathize and we are that much more likely to step into our own power after we have stated our intentions. Sometimes, others will help to clarify unsaid statements, and there’s so much that can be gained from reflection after the game as well. Women have told stories in Sparked that they’ve then been able to take back into their lives with gratitude to share with others who have touched them, and also have found resilience through adventures that they’ve been able to take back to inspire others with! We sometimes forget who we are when we haven’t shared our stories! Sometimes it’s easier to say things aloud to strangers than it would be to your closest friends! Sometimes, when you’ve said something aloud to a stranger, it makes it easier to say it to someone who is more close to you.
4. You share an intimate experience together.
There’s something that is so nourishing about sharing conversations that dig deeper than the surface. It is increasingly rare to spend time away from our devices, and to take the time to connect with new people without interruption. When you share time together playing Sparked, you may discover things about yourself that you had forgotten, and you may discover deeper connections than you expected to find amongst people you’ve never met before.
5. Strangers won’t be strangers for long after they play a Sparked game together.
Sometimes it’s fun just to laugh together and recognize the common humanity that we share. All Sparked games give opportunities to be reflective, and to connect with what’s fun in every person in the circle. Friendships thrive when given opportunities like these.
Article written by Vivian Best, who started Sparked in Austin.