With his love of Game Of Thrones, Star Trek, and everything else the Internet holds dear, Parks And Recreation’s Ben Wyatt has become something of an icon for America’s nerderati. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Mayfair Games, the company that makes Settlers Of Catan, took the time to make an actual version of Cones Of Dunshire, the game Ben invents during a spell of unemployment.
Mayfair was initially contacted by Parks And Rec producers to come up with the barest outline of a board game around which they could write some jokes; as Mayfair’s Alex Yeager tells the Indianapolis alt-weekly Nuvo, “At the time, I don’t think that there was a plan to produce an actual game, and whatever cohesiveness there was to the content was almost an afterthought.” But being obsessive types, the people at Mayfair developed Cones Of Dunshire into an actual, playable game, one that Yeager says “trie[s] to walk a line between something playable, and something still rooted in the crazed imagination of an unemployed geek.”
The game is not ready for mass production (yet), but Cones Of Dunshire did make its debut recently at gaming convention GenCon, held appropriately enough in Parks And Rec’s home state of Indiana. Adam Scott even recorded a video introduction to the game, giving players the timeless advice: “It’s about the cones. Never forget that.”
Tickets to play Cones Of Dunshire cost $100 each and were limited to 33 people; the game reportedly sold out within minutes. The position of Ledgerman—a player who does not compete, but keeps score in a snappy captain’s hat—was auctioned off live at the event. The game was played on an oversized mat rather than a board for easier viewing; a commenter on the website Boardgaming.com describes the gameplay as “pretty chaotic,” but from pictures of the match it looks like everybody had a lot of fun. And according to Mayfair, the event raised over $20,000 for the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana’s BackPacks program, which is always a good thing.
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