The Empathy Game

The Empathy Game

© Saftladen Studio 2018

The Empathy Game


Forge deep connections, and go beyond small talk.


Explore each other's memories, assumptions, and imagination through playfully engaging with each other's stories, and sensory experiences.

Card game with questions and dice.



There’s so much to learn about others, yourself, and the world around you. 

We go through our days, seeing patterns, assuming for certain things to happen as a consequence of another thing. 

We predict and assume to make sense of the world around us. 

We do not often expect the unexpected. 

The same goes for people

There’s often much more to discover, and understand than we think at the start. 

When we share thoughts and stories, we might assume the other to understand most parts to what we’re telling. 

But, hey. There’s a lot to unpack, and everyone’s mind is made up of a different patchwork of experiences, and personalities. 

No assumption or pattern fits every person.

If someone were to ask you “Imagine a red car, I’ll do the same.”

No red car would never be the same.

No thought or story is ever the same. 

Let’s listen and push our assumptions aside to understand each other better.  

Let's play.

Background Information

The idea for the game came through learning about the ins and outs of design thinking at Hyper Island. The core of the message there was, that you have to be able to understand yourself, and empathise with your team. Understanding yourself and the people around you, in order to be able to empathise with others who's problems you'll end up solving through products or services.

Our class often used tools and methods which allowed us to playfully learn to empathise with each other, and acquire the language to express our thoughts and feelings better. That was all great stuff, but how accessible are those playful tools, and methods to the broader public? That's where the idea for the game came in.

We're at prototype 3.0 of the Empathy game. We came from looking up conversation starter questions, to testing different ways to engage people with each other's stories. Friends and families were the first lab rats for this game. We're stoked because this works, and we've had the great pleasure to hear new/odd/hilarious/thrilling stories from people we've known for decades. 

The biggest lesson so far has been: Fear not, just play.

Prototype Test Sign-Up

You're located in Amsterdam and want to test the Empathy Game? We're currently testing prototype 3.0 of the Empathy Game. We'd love your feedback.

Shoot us a message! 

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