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.â€ 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.â€
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.â€); Actions (playful directives “that let you know how creative your mate isâ€); Situations (“Likes and dislikes as well as ethical and moral responses.â€); Sex and Romance; and Finance. “One of the things that break couples up is money,â€ offers Moss-Brown, “so let’s talk about it in a nonthreatening way.â€ The game does ask tough questions, like “Have you ever been sexually molested or assaulted?â€ and “Have you sought counseling?â€ but it also includes many light and fun instructions such as “Perform a cheer for your mate.â€ And “Sing a song from a sitcom you remember as a child.â€ Couples are also required to kiss every time they pass “Start.â€
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,â€ laughs Moss-Brown. “We all do it. We all send our representative. My husband kept saying that it is important to be authentic.â€
Authenticity is available online at www.playauthenticity.com for $29.95.