Kess Philosophy

KESS, More than meets the eye...

This was not a game made for profit, this was a game developed by a child who was lonely at school and who needed to keep himself entertained with few friends. It’s inspired by that kid’s mind spinning with fantasy and strategy - bits and pieces of games he knew coming together until KESS worked. Then adult Dave thought he’d give it a go and try push his project out into the world.

Dave is passionate about some things, but he’s also shy so I sort of have to ask him about them. Dave doesn’t like social media and in fact doesn’t have any social accounts. He also cares about the mental well-being of kids. He knows what a game can do when it comes to cheering a kid up, when it comes to bonding with others, and most of all, what an escape it can be for the troubled or concerned child (or adult!!).

So, here are the cornerstones of Dave’s thinking, and what KESS represents to him

- what it affords not just children, but all who play it:

KESS is easy to learn and understand

You’ll be playing smoothly in less than ten minutes - no stuffy rule book required!

KESS games are fast

Under ten minutes - so you can always fit one in. Play repetitively for crazy amounts of brand new gameplays.

KESS being easy and fast does not detract from deep strategy opportunities

Strategize as deeply and as far forward as you like! That’s what having five moves per turn allows! Plan your onslaught with whatever degree of mental effort you happen to be able to muster - and have fun no matter that level.

KESS is for all!

This is the beauty of KESS - a newbie kid can play straightaway, so can a chess grandmaster - someone who craves that intellectual challenge. They could play each other - now the grandmaster is on new turf, the newbie, doesn’t-play-chess kid stands a chance. Put a chess grandmaster up against a KESS kid (a kid who has won over 50 games can apply for a KESS kid badge and is henceforth the proud carrier of coveted title ‘KESS kid’).

KESS helps kids after Covid

Millions of children around the world were isolated from friends and did not attend school for a not-insignificant portion of 2 years. Concerns over deleterious impacts have been raised by researchers. Here are some key articles and research on this topic:

Kess is a zero stress game, ideal to kick back and relax with.

It makes sense to recognise that these children experienced something we haven’t seen globally since WWII: they were prevented, en masse and for a while, sometimes yo-yo’ing back and forth, from attending things that are, broadly speaking, good for their social, physical, emotional and intellectual development. KESS is the perfect remedy. It’s fun, social, accessible, is played in person, and teaches them strategy, improves their working memory, and - this one is important - gives them a complete escape from life for a little bit. We’ve all been through a lot with restrictions and all the impacts of Covid. KESS is a little sunshine after all the rain.

KESS helps adults after Covid

The whole world just went through Covid, which means all you adults out there, too! The good thing about KESS is that it ain't for kids and it ain’t for adults - it’s for everyone. (Sort of like how the Simpsons was a hit with kids but drew dry, knowing chuckles from the adults in the room, too). Play it together if you have a kid! This brings me to my next point:

KESS brings children and parents together

Because you’ll both have so much fun playing it, it’s the perfect bonding game for the family. And because games only go for ten mins, it’s the perfect pick-me-up after a bad day (for either of you), an after-dinner treat, a before-bed ritual, or even (for those distressing nights), a way to get your child feeling back to themselves after a nightmare or upsetting event. A ten-minute game will have them smiling again - and then it’s (fingers crossed) back to bed!

KESS is a bit like a meditation break in a world that desperately needs more of them

Because KESS is both engaging and relaxing it has the effect of shutting out the outside world and fully pulling you in. You won’t be thinking about what your boss said to you at lunch, or what needs doing before you can go to bed. You won’t be stressing about that interview or bickering over nothing - you’ll be so into it, planning your opponent’s swift demise, shrieking with laughter when they blow your socks off with moves you hadn’t anticipated, and staring solemnly at the board thinking only of possible moves. It’s so engaging! When you’re done you’ll be in a completely different mood, and things won’t seem so heavy.

KESS is like no other game

Because it didn’t try to be like any other game - it didn’t try to do or be anything except keep a lonely child fully engaged and happy. KESS fully stands by its guiding principles, or broadly speaking, a philosophy of sorts. KESS is for authenticity, for fun, inclusiveness, relaxation, time spent laughing, bonding, time spent playing.