Berks Co. couple invents board game to combat 'creativity crisis'

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Aug 29, 2018 12:22 PM

A Berks County couple invented Starting Lines to help combat the creativity crisis. (Photo courtesy: Starting Lines)

(Harrisburg) -- A Berks County couple has invented a board game they say could help solve the "creativity crisis" in children.

The crisis refers to research conducted since the 1960s showing children's creativity has been declining since the 1990s.

The findings have troubled Penn State Berks assistant professor and psychologist Meghan Owenz, who developed a board game with her husband called Starting Lines.  It's meant to provide face-to-face interaction, while stimulating the imagination.

Owenz said the game was inspired by one her husband Adam, a marketing professor at Albright College, would play with their young children.

"Where they would draw a little scribble, that was obviously nothing, and then he would take the paper and turn it into a dinosaur or a race car and he would say, 'oh my gosh! Look what you drew! You drew a dinosaur," Owenz said.

To play, a category is chosen and each player uses the same starting line, or scribble, to draw what they think best matches the category.

"There's research to show that simple tasks like drawing can improve children's creativity so we have reason to think that it would and the game was based on those studies and those theories," Owenz said, "but we don't know for sure whether the game does what we think it does."

Once the first production run is out, Owenz said they plan to do their own research on the game to see if it does increase creativity.

Then, they plan to get the game into classrooms.

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