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Exploding Kittens, free pizza and e-commerce

February 24, 2015

A new card strategy game has become the number one most funded venture on Kickstarter. Exploding Kittens is not just a game - it is also a project that is backed by a team of philanthropists in the making.

A new card strategy game has become the number one most funded venture on Kickstarter. Exploding Kittens is not just a game – it is also a project that is backed by a team of philanthropists in the making. Extra funds pledged to the game were recently used for community projects and pizza parties for animal shelter staff. It is fascinating to think about how this small e-commerce project has blossomed into a social cause.

Exploding Kittens raises over $8 million through crowdfunding
Paste Magazine reported on a new card strategy game that has made crowdfunding history. Started by Elan Lee, Matthew Inman and Shane Small, Exploding Kittens is an electronic game that is similar to Russian Roulette. The campaign to raise money for the game started over a month ago with the goal of raising $10,000. No one expected that the game would instead attract capital in the sum of $8,782,571. Exploding Kittens is now the most successfully funded game in the history of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Previously, Ouya was the favorite gaming project, with the microconsole taking in a little over $8.5 million.

Not only is Exploding Kittens the most heavily funded game in Kickstarter history, but it also has the most amount of backers, with 219,382 people contributing money to the project. The Reading Rainbow campaign comes in at second with approximately half the supporters the kittens got.

How the game is played and kittens are exploded
According to Paste Magazine, the creators of Exploding Kittens describe the card game as “a kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.” Each player takes turns drawing cards from a deck and the first player to get an exploding kitten loses. There is some strategy involved, however, as players can activate cards and deliberately choose to explode their kittens in order to save their lives for another round.

Mother Nature Network noted that the game features catnip sandwich cards and unicorn enchilada cards in addition to the exploding kittens. While pulling an exploding kitten card out of the deck means game over, players can also defuse flaming kittens with a laser pointer, kitten therapy and other interesting cards. Matthew Inman talked about why they chose kittens instead of bombs.

“When we were playing the original version of the game, instead of a kitten there was a bomb card, so the whole time we played, everyone was stressing and worrying about ‘the bomb,'” said Inman, according to the news source. “I thought it’d be funnier to make the bomb a kitten instead – that way you wind up with a room full of people all living in fear of a kitten.”

Exploding Kittens is a good cause and humanitarian game
Mother Nature Network reported that the creators of Exploding Kittens are sharing their wealth with the world. Since the original goal of raising $10,000 was met in only two hours – with the first day alone bringing in $2 million – the creators have turned their sights elsewhere. Elan Lee talked about focusing on the community. 

“Once we hit our funding goal, the campaign was no longer about money, it was about a community,” said Lee, according to the news source.

The creators of Exploding Kittens have been involved in community work and creating comic illustrations of investors to express their gratitude. Interestingly, the team behind Exploding Kittens have also reached out to cat shelters, informing workers to tweet photos of themselves holding a sign that reads “#RSVPizza”. Shelters that posted a photo were gifted with a free a pizza party on Feb. 18. The creators of the popular game said the pizzas were to say thank you to shelter staff for their hard work.

“[We want to] honor the superheroes in our lives who care for hurt and homeless animals,” the creators of Exploding Kittens wrote, according to Mother Nature Network.

The Exploding Kittens story is an interesting one. What started as crowdfunding initiative for a simple game has turned into a community project and a social cause. While not every Kickstarter campaign uses their funds for altruistic purposes, this example shows that e-commerce can be surprising, inventive, and most importantly, kind to the world.

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