Among companies that sell tabletop games and other products for children and families, few have made the development of kindness and cooperation as important to their mission as Peaceable Kingdom. The company, which was founded over 30 years ago in Berkley, California, has been putting out games such as Friends and Neighbors, Say the Word, and Mole Rats in Space that help children grow personally and emotionally by learning the importance of cooperation and teamwork. As Rachel Sunday, Marketing Manager at Peaceable Kingdom, told us, “we create games and gifts that inspire cooperation and cultivate kindness – because kids that play well together play well in the world.”
In addition to producing great games, Peaceable Kingdom will also be sponsoring WashingCon this year. As Rachel explained, the sponsorship came from the company’s relationship with fellow WashingCon sponsor Labyrinth Games. “We are extremely appreciative of our partnership over the years with Labyrinth,” Rachel said, “when the idea of WashingCon was presented, we immediately hopped on and wanted to be part of the family section!”
WC: For people new to the hobby, can you tell us about the history of Peaceable Kingdom? What drives the company and its designers to make tabletop games for children and families?
RS: We create games and gifts that inspire cooperation and cultivate kindness – because kids that play well together play well in the world. Cooperative games blend playful fun with a chance to learn compassion and practice kindness toward others. Common goals teach kids to work together. Cooperative games enable players to win or lose as a team, which builds resilience and strengthens friendships. Play with heart and soul!
WC: What products will Peaceable Kingdom be releasing this year? Are there any releases you're excited about?
RS: We have a handful of new releases in 2017! We are particularly excited about demoing Mole Rats in Space with the WashingCon crowd! Mole Rats in Space was designed by celebrated game designer Matt Leacock, best known for designing Pandemic and Forbidden Island. Mole Rats in Space is a 7+ games and is Leacock’s first cooperative game for kids. Players work together to help the Mole Rats gather their equipment and make it to their escape pod before time runs out! Climb the ladders, slip down air-shafts, but don't get bitten by the snakes.
WC: Given how important cooperative play is to your company, how do you view the rise of cooperative board games across the entire hobby? What lessons do you think they could take from your own games and design philosophy?
RS: Cooperative games have been popular in the adult world of gaming for some time. However, we do feel that we have found a niche in the children’s gaming world by advocating and providing such games. We embody the cooperative concept as a company all around. We feel that our cooperative games provide a place for children to learn qualities that they can take with them and share with the world as they grow. Among those qualities are listening, communication, teamwork, inclusive play and sharing. It also doesn’t hurt to win or lose as a team, rather than by yourself!
WC: What type of organizations have you supported through your donation program? What's been the most memorable organization that you've supported over the years?
RS: In 2017, we began our partnership with Kids for Peace. Kids for Peace launched the Great Kindness Challenge week over ten years ago and has now spanned to millions of schools and children across the globe. Their mission is to encourage kindness and build kind acts as habits amongst kids in their school setting. Kids are challenged individually and as a whole to complete a Kindness Checklist throughout the week. We believe that kindness can change the world and through our products, kids learn how to listen to each other, use their own voice, and be kind. We are proud to be partners with Kids for Peace and strongly stand behind their goals and mission.
WC: How does the inventor submission process work? What are things that all tabletop game designers can learn from the products that inventors have submitted to you over the years?
RS: We accept inventor submissions via our website! We encourage and accept all submissions. These submissions are reviewed and handled by who we like to call our ‘Game Guru’. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to share cooperative games with the rest of the world!
WashingCon would like to thank Rachel and the rest of the team at Peaceable Kingdom for supporting our work!