Lakeshore Couple Invents New Game to Create Connection

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

rankDana and Chip Brown noticed that technology—in their own family and across society—is preventing people from connecting. Rather than conversation, there are constant phone checks, games, and responding to emails and texts.

Combine that noticing with both of their creative experiences working with Disney, and they came up with The Rank Game, a brand-new game that "is about you and your people," said the Browns.

The Rank Game features cards listing four items to be ranked in order of preference by a Ranker. Guessers record their guesses as to the Ranker's order, getting a point for each correct answer. For example, one card says Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter so the Ranker ranks which he or she likes best to least, with Guessers trying to guess correctly. A new Ranker ranks for the next round, and so on.

"Within a couple of rounds, you find you are building relationships," said Chip Brown, a former Disney Studios producer.

"Everyone has their preferences," said Dana Brown, a former Disney Imagineer. "When each person ranks, there is much discussion, arguing, and stating their case."

The idea for The Rank Game was planted two decades ago when the Brown waited in line with friends at the opening of the Getty Museum in Southern California. They asked their friends which of four classic rock bands was their favorite. A long discussion ensued. Chip Brown recalls asking friends and family on long car trips to rank their favorite movies, musicians, and sports teams.

Jump decades to the Browns and their three children and them looking for ways to connect, and The Rank Game was born. The Browns' company, Storyastic, will eventually include other games now in development and they plan to pitch The Rank Game as a TV game show.

"We put structure around those questions, created categories, play-tested it and the result is a game that takes little to no instruction and is something everyone can enjoy together," said Chip Brown.

The main game includes cards on a variety of topics and scoring sheets, as well as several blank cards to create specialized lists. There are 11 expansion packs available with topics such as Culture Vulture, The Faith Pack, Relationship Goals, and Sports & Outdoors. The main game costs $30, and expansion packs $11 each.

"Lots of games you just play and move on," said Dana Brown. "This game is more meaningful. It's about tech less and talk more. We wanted to create something that appeals to people's sense of fun and sense of belonging."

Funding came through a successful Kickstarter campaign, which ended in December. The Rank Game is now available at, and will soon be available in retail stores. For more information and to order, visit the website.
Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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