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She admits that she’s not a relationship expert, but after examining her personal courtship challenges and those of her friends, Sheila Moss-Brown found that they all had one variable in common: “We weren’t asking enough questions.” In fact, Moss-Brown, a pharmaceutical sales representative in Chicago, believes that the biggest mistake dating and married couples make is not communicating. So she decided to offer a solution to this challenge, fashioning a game “where you’re having a good time, but learning about the person you’re with.”
Moss-Brown created Authenticity in late 2005, a traditional board game, with directional cards divided up into to seven categories that include Family (“When you understand someone’s family dynamic and their background, you understand them a little better.”); Actions (playful directives “that let you know how creative your mate is”); Situations (“Likes and dislikes as well as ethical and moral responses.”); Sex and Romance; and Finance. “One of the things that break couples up is money,” offers Moss-Brown, “so let’s talk about it in a nonthreatening way.” The game does ask tough questions, like “Have you ever been sexually molested or assaulted?” and “Have you sought counseling?” but it also includes many light and fun instructions such as “Perform a cheer for your mate.” And “Sing a song from a sitcom you remember as a child.” Couples are also required to kiss every time they pass “Start.”
Moss-Brown, who was single when she developed the concept, met and married her husband by the time she completed the project over a three-year time period. In fact, it was her husband, Milton, who named the game. “Most people are not authentic when we’re dating,” laughs Moss-Brown. “We all do it. We all send our representative. My husband kept saying that it is important to be authentic.”
Authenticity is available online at www.playauthenticity.com for $29.95.