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New card game builds relationships by sharing SCARS, explains co-founder

Emily Montgomery, Bonfire Socials

A new card game encourages people to talk about their bodies positively and build relationships. The game is called SCARS, and co-creator Erin Montgomery opened up about the inspiration behind the game’s intent, the live Kickstarter campaign, and more in our interview.

Disclosure: This sponsored interview showcases an inspiring game that aims to get people talking about their imperfections in positive ways to build confidence and stronger relationships.

Interview with Erin Montgomery

Board and card games were often played in our home growing up. Some of my faves were Monopoly and Clue. For cards, it was Crazy Eights! And in all that time, you know what, I took it for granted that someone had come up with the original idea and made it happen, creating something that would one day bring so much fun to our house.

With that in mind, I had the opportunity to interview Erin Montgomery of Bonfire Socials, who is the co-creator of the card game SCARS. To start the dialogue, I asked for details about the game.

Erin, SCARS is a “body-centered” conversation game. What exactly does that mean?

Body-centered was used because we wanted to have people share stories of how they felt about their belly buttons as children, about sounds that are pleasant to them, about the story behind their hairstyle, or if they can snap their fingers/whistle/move their eyebrows.

The questions center around the body. Admittedly, this can alarm some people when they first hear that description. A common misconception is that it asks about triggering topics – it does not.

SCARS opens the door to the person we have been and who we are now, all through telling the stories of our lives.

Let’s talk more about that. Looking at the bigger picture, what is the intent of the SCARS game?

We age, we change, and many of us experience things that we don’t even know other people experience too. Our society doesn’t always talk about things that bodies naturally go through, and that can be really lonely and frustrating.

The intent of the game is to bring people together, to combat loneliness and disconnection. To foster interconnection. To laugh and share memories they long forgot. To hear stories you’d never heard and see your friends and family members in a new and illuminating light.

We wanted to be able to normalize being in a body and celebrate the resilience, reliability, and uniqueness of the people who choose to share because they have a WHOLE life they have lived.

What a wonderful purpose! How did the idea originate?

I was sitting outside with my partner of 7 years, Alex, during the pandemic. We had been brainstorming questions for a conversation card deck when we paused for a brain break. I noticed a scar on his arm and inquired about it. The idea struck like lightning.

The body is something we can all relate to – we all have bodies and silly memories to share about, such as how we didn’t like our toes as kids, used to do gymnastics, or ate grapes in a quirky way. This concept really spoke to us on how to move past conversations that can be dull or draining. Through storytelling.

SCARS conversation game. Photo used with permission of Bonfire Socials.

How is the SCARS game different than others out there?

Our game is different in two ways. First, all the questions are inspired by the body and our experiences with them.

Second, it is customizable with the expansion packs. This allows you to switch out cards to create a deck that has your favorite questions in it!

Do you think that social media and advertising hurt how we feel about our bodies? How so?

Oh, absolutely. In so many ways, social media often leads us to feel more or less in comparison to someone else. That was one of the core components I want SCARS to bring to people – feeling inspired by the uniqueness of the person in front of us.

I think humanity is on the right track, though. There are many companies, large and small, working hard to be inclusive of different bodies and they are making great strides to combat the status quo.

Pressure to look a certain way can tank self-confidence and have many other harmful effects. Please share how your game can offer some positivity!

So many people have complex feelings about their body. Because of that, we tried to leave room to allow people to feel however they feel. That said, since we didn’t try to sway opinions in any way.

While I can’t make claims that it’ll make anyone feel different about their bodies, I hope that the players feel seen and heard. I hope people learn about others’ journeys and treat them with care and respect.

I hope that people walk away from the game having opened conversational doors that the questions didn’t even ask, fostered connections, laughed, shared, and felt the warm embrace of community.

I see your Kickstarter campaign! What is the reaction so far to those who have played it?

Most people have been interested, and we have gotten a lot of feedback on what a cool/interesting idea it is!

Some people understandably get worried about the kinds of questions the deck may include, but that has been present since we created the game. Most people who try it walk away telling us how refreshed they feel and ask how they can get their own deck. :)

The SCARS Kickstarter campaign is running until March 13th, and we have several tier levels available for those that want to get our main deck or the bundle at a lower price than when it is fully released!

What do you envision following the Kickstarter campaign?

We are looking to create more expansion packs!

I would actually love to do a deck called “(HER) SCARS,” which will be all about the experiences of women and normalizing the things that we may not usually talk about.

In the further future, we hope to open a physical location where people can come, mingle, and play the cards (or not!), as well as offering therapist-led workshops to help with interpersonal skills.

Thank you for being here, Erin Montgomery

The new game SCARS has the potential to open up conversations about body image and life experiences that can strengthen relationships with others and oneself. It can spark a thoughtful dialogue while having fun playing the game at the same time. That’s a powerful combo!

I also like what Erin envisions for the future with Bonfire Socials opening a physical location for people can come together to play SCARS, with a therapy resource available too.

Connect and support the SCARS game by Bonfire Socials

Find out more about creators Erin and Alex at the Bonfire Socials website. That’s where you can also get more details about SCARS and the Kickstarter campaign.

Find them on social media too! @BonfireSocials is on Instagram and Facebook.

The Kickstarter campaign for SCARS is live! It ends soon – on March 13th – Be a part of this exciting new game and pre-order yours now!


Top photo: Meet Emily Montgomery of Bonfire Socials. Photo credit: Erin Riddle of Lone Star Pin-up. Used with permission of Bonfire Socials.

10 thoughts on “New card game builds relationships by sharing SCARS, explains co-founder”

  1. Sounds like a great alternative to online social media.
    In person socializing is the latest thing! 🤔🙃
    Everything old is new, again!
    Best of luck with SCARS!

    1. I feel a bit old. I like talking on the phone. A lot of information is imparted in the tone and cadence of a voice!

  2. Wow, this is so very innovative, and such an creative concept [a game based on questions centered around the body]. I’m really impressed by the thought to make it expandable and customizable. This will not only make it more personable, but is sure to add to the excitement.

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