The Card Game
Today, Totem continues to inspire players all around the world to treat others with kindness. With over 100,000 games sold in more than 33 countries, Totem is a valuable resource for parents, teachers, therapists, and team-building experts worldwide – bringing people closer together by giving them the opportunity to connect over a unique, shared positive experience.
How many times have you been in this situation? You’re enjoying an evening with friends or family and once someone leaves, those who are left behind start singing their praises... "How generous is she? I have seen her lend a hand to those in need so many times. Every time I see her act like this, it fills me with gratitude…” Unfortunately, the person concerned is no longer there to hear all of these beautiful testimonies to their character. We’ve all been in this position on multiple occasions.
It was in 2015 after having once again experienced one of these moments that Carol Rancourt, the creative force behind numerous social innovations, began to reflect on the subject. The questions on his mind were: “What explains this behavior? Why aren't we comfortable saying all of these kind things when the person is right there in front of us to enjoy hearing them?” After a few weeks of reflection and discussion with those around him, he came to identify two main issues that hinder people in their desire and ability to express gratitude to their loved ones: 1- the feeling of discomfort at initiating this kind of more intimate exchange without any particular reason, and 2- not really knowing which words to use to do it.
He therefore tries to respond to these issues by playing on two levers: A) finding a fun approach, a game mechanic that would give people a pretext for taking a moment to say how much they appreciate each other, and B) facilitating this expression of gratitude by putting a wide range of statements about human qualities directly in people's hands, from which they can choose those that correspond to what they appreciate about their loved ones. By exploring the world of board games, he came to adapt a card game mechanic that both gives people a pretext for taking a moment to say they appreciate each other in a fun and touching way, while giving them the words to initiate this valuable discussion more easily.
Unity is strength
He then approached his entrepreneur friend, Jade Tremblay, to join him on this adventure and take the lead. Since 2003, Jade has had a passion for personal development and wanted to help people become aware of what shines within them through easy-to-use tools and by applying a powerful technique for expressing gratitude. This partnership made all the more sense, since he was already working on using animal symbolism to help people become aware of their strengths along with his wife, Tessa Paradis, who had been painting animals in a primitive style with great success since 2010. They started offering gifts in the form of posters and postcards depicting animals associated with qualities, to remind people how valued they are.
The three friends shared the same vision, so they set themselves the goal of having a global impact by enabling play with positive communication and personal development. Under Jade’s leadership, they then merged and developed these different approaches in order to produce the “feel good game”. After several iterations of the concept of play which combines animals, strengths and qualities, the link with totemization came naturally, thanks to their childhood experiences within the Scouts. The creators of the game were also well aware of the importance of the symbolism of the totem for the Founding Peoples, since Carol Rancourt himself is a proud descendant of the Abenaki nation. The reference to the important symbolism of the totem was therefore made with all of the respect it deserves. Totem the feel good game was born, offering a fun approach to communication built on the values of respect and compassion towards ourselves and others. An approach driven by the desire to symbolize what shines in people, from all backgrounds and cultures.
Totem the feel good game has the power to elevate you and make you aware of how valued you are in the eyes of others. It's a game and a powerful communication tool that will make you feel the remarkable impact your words can have on others. It will help you break down communication barriers on a daily basis with family or at work, and quite simply take a moment for saying kind things to each other.