How often do Baha’i board games become available? Hardly ever! Nunki is a newly created multi-category game available in English and German, and it’s the brainchild of a team of energetic and vibrant German youth. Laura, one of the team members, happily shared with Baha’i Blog some details about how the game came to be, how it’s played, and how it has been received so far.
Baha’i Blog: To begin, please tell us about the team that created Nunki. Who are you and what is your background and experience with creating games?
‘Ninestar Games’ is a team of around 10 motivated young Baha’is. This initiative grew out of an idea of my husband’s, Iman Naghashian, who wanted to implement creative projects with Baha’i content. Very few of our team members have, until recently, experience with game development. But in Eduard Anton, we have obtained a professional game developer and designer.
Baha’i Blog: What was the inspiration for Nunki?
We used to play (board) games after junior youth classes or after devotions. In a Ruhi 7 seminar we realized the importance of art and creativity to promote the values of the faith. Just as the writings show us, learning is best if we do it in a creative way. Then an idea came along to develop a board game, which combines knowledge, creativity and especially teamwork.
Baha’i Blog: What does the word “nunki” mean?
We discovered the word “nunki” in an ancient Sumerian prophecy; it means “divine place on earth“ and points toward the unity of mankind.
Baha’i Blog: What kind of game is Nunki?
The concept of Nunki is similar to Activity or Tabu, but all the activity-cards have Baha’i-related content. Anybody can play Nunki, there is no age limit and you don’t need to have been a Baha’i for a long time to answer questions. We wanted to create a game that focuses on joy and not on competition. Nunki can help to achieve greater unity in communities, especially because it is based upon spiritual topics.
Baha’i Blog: How many people are required to play the game?
Nunki can be played by a minimum of 4 persons in 2 teams. There are almost no limits to how many friends can play Nunki. We recommend playing with a maximum of 21 persons, which means 3 teams with 7 persons per team. We have also played Nunki with our whole community (50 persons), but the game must be accompanied or moderated by 2 persons who don’t participate in the game.
Baha’i Blog: What was the consultative process like to create this game?
First we consulted within the team about funny games we know. Furthermore we carefully selected the most popular game elements. The game content was approved by the German National Spiritual Assembly. It took a whole year to develop and test Nunki and the game is continually advancing.
Baha’i Blog: What were some challenges you had to overcome? Where there any surprise victories along the way?
A great challenge was the production of Nunki. The game was produced by a premium manufacturer of board games in Germany with correspondingly high costs.
Our greatest satisfaction with this project is that we have received a lot of beautiful pictures showing the friends playing Nunki all over the world. The friends who have played Nunki like it a lot. We have even received pictures from China, Russia and the United States showing us that the friends are united in their joy. Parents from different countries have sent us letters, saying that they are happy for this game, because it helps them introduce values of the Faith. We look forward to receiving more feedback and pictures.
Baha’i Blog: What was your favourite part about creating this game? And what is your favourite part about playing this game?
I’d like developing the creative parts of the game. How do you draw “unity“ and how do you explain “world citizen“ without using “nation”, “land” and “people”?
A highlight of the game is its matching tasks. The teams have to find matches in their answers for such questions like “What do you give your Mum for Mother’s Day?“ or “Which sorts of tea do you buy for the 19 Day Feast?”. The team members need at least two matching answers to get a step nearer to Nunki-Earth. For the history-pros, there are also some more challenging questions such as: “To whom did Baha’u’llah reveal the Kitab-i-Badi?”
Baha’i Blog: Where can your game be purchased?
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Laura, for telling us all about Nunki. We hope the game continues to bring joy and unity into the homes of the friends!