Scars – A Thoughtful Conversation Game by Bonfire Socials

Scars cover by

Scars is a new card game that aims to do something a little different than most of the games we’ve written about in the past. In Scars the goal isn’t to win-or-lose, but rather to engage in meaningful conversations about what it means to have imperfections.

Inside the box comes a deck of cards and a simple rule book. Each card asks different questions about the body that help normalize and celebrate each players unique story. From simple prompts like “what unusual smell do you like?” to more sensitive prompts like “Tell us your history with acne.”, Scars does a great job at lifting the veil of anxiety and normalizing each persons unique experience.

What is Scars?

Scars is a game that celebrates life’s imperfections. It’s a conversation game that’s great for getting to know people and helping work through insecurities with friends and family. A simple deck of cards, each with different questions written on them that are meant to stimulate meaningful conversation.

Created by the team at Bonfire Socials, they have many years of wellness therapy under their belt. This experience shows with how much care is given to each card in the deck, asking questions that can help people open up and tell stories about their unique lived experiences.

Want to learn more about Scars? You can check out the game on their Kickstarter page!

Visit Bonfire Socials Here

Our interview with Scars team member Erin Montgomery

We had a chance to ask a few questions about Scars and what separates it from other games on the shelf ahead of their full release. This is what Erin, co-founder of Bonfire Socials had to say.

You said you have a background in wellness, do you think playing conversational games like SCARS could help someone with their mental wellness?

ABSOLUTELY! A background in wellness has taught that we need each other as much as ourselves. We believe conversation cards done well can bridge the gap of loneliness – a silent epidemic that drains people, putting them into a place of despair.

How are we supposed to solve the big problems of the world if we are too exhausted to do anything?

There is a craft to conversation cards. Asking open ended questions that aren’t too self indulgent, cliche, or heavy.

Conversation cards can help us with our communication skills. Teaching us to think deeper, ask follow up questions, active listen, and share thoughtfully. It all the sudden isn’t just about us. It is about the person in front of us, too. That reciprocity is integral to healthy social bonds.

All of this can lay down the bedrock to a really good, maybe even relationship deepening social experience and THAT is absolutely beneficial to mental health and wellness by beating loneliness and disconnection – even if for a little bit (after all.. we can’t be happy ALL the time but.. we can have people around us to support and be supported by that are cultivated through intention – like playing SCARS. 🙂

What separates SCARS from other card games on the shelf today?

SCARS first and foremost asks almost exclusively body-focused questions.

When you brainstorm for as long as we did (two years) – the mind and body questions begin to overlap and you end up with questions like “How do you feel about non-romantic physical touch?”

Finally,  our conversation card deck is customizable. We noticed in a lot of conversation decks we ran into that you would find the same question in different decks. We personally had wished we could just mix and match from different games – that is what made us come up with the thought to allow people to pick and choose cards from different packs that they liked to create something tailored to them.

The game is supposed to grow with you. The answers to your questions will change with you as you go along creating a game that can be played again and again. 🙂

4) Who do you think your target audience is with SCARS? What type of person would love this game?

To be cliche, our game is meant to be played with a variety of people of many ages, from strangers, to friends, family, and partners. After all, we made the game body-focused because everyone has a body and can relate to having experiences/feelings/thoughts with it.

HOWEVER, our target audience is people that enjoy sharing and listening about themselves and others. People that don’t feel comfortable sharing about the story behind their tattoo may not be a good fit because the game is all about storytelling about our lives with the goal of connection. People that are willing to wade out of the shallow waters of small talk into the deeper waters of connection will fall in love with this game!

5) If you had to pick one question from SCARS that you think is the most insightful, which would it be?

OOH! That is such a good question.  It is subjective. Not everyone is going to have a story for a question answered. You can also gain insight from different playing sessions with other people. That is one of the things SCARS aims to to do. Bring insight, relatability and reminder that everyone has their own imperfections.

I can tell you a favorite question is one that hits home for me.

From our base pack – “What is your history with Body-Focused-Repetitive-Behaviors? (Nail biting, cheek chewing, skin picking, or hair pulling; etc)”

For me.. I began my journey with BFRBs when I was around 12 years old and had a lot of shame around it because I just felt like a weirdo who couldn’t control herself (my BFRB manifested as trichotillomania – hair pulling). That is why I included this card in the deck. So people could learn that it isn’t their fault. And on that note, I want to say that the TLC foundation – is a WONDERFUL resource for information and  support.

Thanks, Chuggernauts for hanging in for my ultra-lengthy answers! And I hope you guys get to experience some really cool times, smiles, laughter and storytelling with SCARS.

Scars Review

Right off the bat we should mention that Scars isn’t like many of the games we’ve reviewed in the past. Rather than being a wild drinking or party game, Scars focuses more on meaningful conversations and human connections.

The cards themselves seem to be very well thought out. It’s clear that the Bonfire Socials team put a lot of care when deciding what questions to put in the deck. The main purpose of Scars seems to be to get people to open up about small imperfections or anxieties they might have, which is a great way to alleviate some of those anxieties.

A great thing about Scars is that none of the questions are too heavy. Mostly about body-related quirks. Which really helps normalize each players experiences. It’s a great way to get people to open up, and perhaps learn a thing or two about your friends.

This game is great for people getting to know each other, or anyone who’s having any body-related anxiety. There’s a ton of great questions in here that will help everyone open up and you’d be surprised at how willing everyone is to talk about their imperfections.