Sunday, November 29, 2015

smôl tôk - Reconnecting people through meaningful conversations


When was the last time you have engaged in a meaningful conversation with another individual? Even within our family, how much do we know about each other? Our likes, dislikes, dreams, frustrations, happiness?

We are so highly dependent on gadgets and closely attached to it that we are talking in the virtual space. Whatsapp, Line and other chat applications have become one of our main social interaction tool. Looking on the screen, typing on the keypad and inserting smiley icons is our new form of communication to connect people with ease and without much effort.

But, what are we missing?

Starknicked (pronounced 'stark naked'), a Singaporean startup, has launched an 'old school' card game, smôl tôk ('small talk') that hopes to help people to get to know each other in a deeply meaningful way, minus the bullshit. Nick Pang, founder of starknicked, shared: "With the internet and social media, people are more connected than ever before. Ironically, people are also becoming more disconnected from each other in their everyday lives." This motivated him to create smôl tôk as a tool to facilitate passionate, open and honest conversation that deepen relationships.

Sounds interesting but I was also a little skeptical on how well it will work. 

smôl tôk can be played with your family, friends, colleagues and even with strangers! It is recommended to play within 4 to 6 players, aged 18 and above and all comfortably seated. Consisting of 30 Personality Cards, 15 Community Cards and 15 Intimacy Cards, the questions varies in difficulty. Some are intimate and funny while others can be personal and thought-provoking.

I was intrigued by many questions that were raised in the deck. "What are you procrastinating now?", "What are you willing to devote your time and energy to without getting paid?". Every question is automatically followed by a "why" or "how".

For the game (conversation) to be carried out smoothly, all players are encourage to participate in the spirit of openness and respect others as you would like to be respected. In the midst of the game, each honest and truthful opinion would be one that lead others to know you better.

Our 12 year old boy was curious when I took out the deck. He suggested playing with me, even though knowing that he is a little too young for it. :) After sorting the cards a little to enable him to answer the questions better, I briefed him about the rules and we played!

I must say through an exchange of questions and answers, both of us learnt something about each other within a short span of a couple of minutes. For example, I learnt that our boy's motto is "If you believe, you can achieve".

As my boy is observing my facial reaction after each question was posed, I was checking on him too. We had longer moments maintaining eye-contact throughout our conversation and we found ourselves thinking through the questions hard and how to articulate our answers better. It was truly a moment where we took the time to disconnect from our devices and reconnect via a simple card deck.

Care to give it a try?

smôl tôk card deck is small and easy to carry around. It can be played during meal times, parties, team-building, networking sessions and more. The current retail price for smôl tôk basic deck is S$32.90 and is available on the online store. For more information, please visit the website.

Disclosure: Sponsored Review - All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. smôl tôk  basic deck was given for review purposes.


May said...

Aiyooooo so sad now we have to depend on card games to create small talks! Haha but innovative game la.

Hello, Mrs Tan said...

This sounds very interesting! I think it will make a good ice-breaking tool during gatherings also!

lady J said...

Haha this looks like a fun game to play! Great Christmas gift idea too! Gonna check it out!

Anonymous said...

I think it is nice that your pre-teen wants to play this conversational game with you. It shows how close he is to you, so good job mummy! :) I also support any card/board game that can replace the electronic devices!! :)

Vivien ( Beautiful Chaos )

Unknown said...

What a good tool for conversations for family gatherings or while waiting for food to be served at the restaurants! Thanks for sharing :D

Unknown said...

Interesting. I always like to ask these questions but at parties when there are more than 4 people around, it is hard to engage in a deep conversation. So these cards might just be what I need before people think I'm weird.

Ai Sakura said...

Fun way to start conversations and keep peeps away from their phones ;)!

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Phoebe said...

Yes. It can be very ironic but it is indeed pretty fun to play with.

Phoebe said...

I think it is a helpful card game to break the ice or even a nice game to be played among close friends. :)

Phoebe said...

I think it will be a fun to play with wine or coffee. :D

Phoebe said...

I was surprised too. I am glad that he is willing to share with me his thoughts and not shy about his answers. Maybe I can play with him when he is older. His answers may change.

fooo said...

It'll be interesting to see how your son will answer the same questions as he gets older, year by year.

Phoebe said...

Yes. the deck is compact and it can fit my pocket too.

Phoebe said...

Many questions raised are interesting and thought provoking. I think it does help to break the ice and the small group can enjoy a quick game.

Phoebe said...

Yes. I would think phones should be kept aside as we sit down and get into a true conversation.

Phoebe said...

Yes! Indeed. At least I kept a record on this blog post about his motto and I wonder how he will answer a few years down the road.

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