BYU student creates new board game


How could a school bus full of hipsters, a skateboard and Steve Jobs help you escape an underwater prison?

Created by BYU student and technology engineering and education major Ben Crabtree, the new game Frying Pans and Garbage Cans asks participants to solve imaginary situations just like that. It requires more critical thinking than a typical game.

“I wanted to make a fun game that actually made you think,” Crabtree said. “What’s great about Frying Pans and Garbage Cans is not only that it’s hilarious, but it forces some creativity.”

Crabtree said the idea was born as he and his family were playing board games over Christmas break. They were disappointed that games either didn’t require any ingenuity or required all thinking and no comedy. They sought to combine the two.

“I’m most excited to see what creative solutions people come up with,” he said. “I think that’s going to be the biggest thing I look forward to.”

Crabtree said one of the biggest goals of the game is to encourage creativity among those who play it. Many who have played said he succeeded.

“The great thing about it is that it’s hysterical but it takes a lot of creativity,” said Trenton McGregor, a senior majoring in technology engineering and education. “I find myself later looking at different random objects and wondering how they could help me with something completely unrelated.”

Photo by Chad Burton
Photo by Chad Burton

Although it is a board game, players choose cards that describe a difficult scenario and list random objects that may help players solve the problem. Each player has to use every object listed and find some creative solution. The winner is chosen by the round’s “judge,” and players are rewarded for their creativity.

“I haven’t won many rounds yet,” said Katie Larsen, a BYU student who has sampled the game. “I guess I’m not making the judge laugh enough.”

Crabtree is currently trying to get the game ready for retail. He and his team are using the website Kickstarter to raise enough money to produce his product.

“We’re working on a Kickstarter page,” he said. “As soon as we raise enough capital we’ll open the game up to an even larger audience.”

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website. It requires someone who has an idea to post about it on the Kickstarter webpage. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy can pay for it. If the project raises enough funds, everyone will get a copy sent to them. If the project doesn’t meet its goal, everyone is automatically refunded their money.

Crabtree said he hopes his project will be successful.

“We think it’s a fun game,” he said. “We’re hoping people will see it’s fun and forces creativity and ultimately want to buy it.”

Anyone who is interested in purchasing a copy of the game or contributing to the idea can search for the game Frying Pans and Garbage Cans, which should be up on Kickstarter soon.

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