A Westby man, inspired by a suggestion from his young daughter, has created an adventure board game for children and their adults.
Dr. David Breitbach, with the help of daughter Kessie, created “Dragon Wings.” Breitbach, a chiropractor, operates River of Ahz Health & Wellness in Viroqua.
Breitbach said Kessie, who was 6 at the time, watched as he created “Love Springs,” a relationship-building game for adults.
“You look at the world and the world is a mess, people don’t get along,” Beitbach said. “So I was creating a game for adults.”
One day, Breitbach said, Kessie announced, “Daddy, kids need to learn to relate, too!” She said they were going to make a game called “Dragon Wings,” where kids would get their wings and learn how to fly. He said to her that parents need to learn to relate to kids, too.
Kessie, who is now 8 years old and in third grade, is the imaginer and fun evaluator. She said she helped make sure the words used in the game could be understood by kids and the activities were fun.
The game’s website has the following back story about the game: “News flash!… For a millennia, Dragon Masters taught the winged young to fly…and to live life with grace, strength and joy. Then, a tyrant walled off their land and banned the training. Winged creatures lost their delight in flying, no longer living with spirit and awe. They forgot the goodness of their neighbors. A few brave winged young freed the last Dragon Masters, overthrew the rotten-hearted ruler & learned to truly fly. So, once again, the young are training to fly (and live) with delight and strength. Adults who were never taught to fly have joined them, too.”
The game, which is for ages 5-13, can be played by kids and adults, or just kids. Two to nine players can participate the game. If there are four players or more, they select partners.
Breitbach said there are 374 activities in the game, which involve imagination, interaction and movement for all ages and abilities.
Players move winged animals around the board by spinning a spinner and moving that number of board spaces. Depending on where they land, players check the board space guide for what to do and then do it. As they move around the board, players collect Magic Jewels, doing the activities written on Jewel Cards. Activities may include saying a tongue-twister or moving around like a firefly. Once five Magic Jewels are collected, a player’s winged beast can fly to the castle, with everyone celebrating the accomplishment. As players’ winged beasts learn to fly, they help others fly and collect more jewels.
There are alternative directions for the game, and Breitbach said the game is different every time it’s played.
“There’s no winner,” Kessie said. “This is not a competition game.”
“We wanted it easy and deep,” Breitbach said. “It’s our way to help change the world. People don’t relate any more. Let’s get along and learn how to relate…”
It took the father-daughter duo about a year-and-a-half to develop the game and another six months to test it. Breitbach said the game was tested by 100 people, including homeschool students, public school students in Baraboo, students at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School and children and adults during game nights at his office and “game tastings.”
The adults who came to the game tastings also enjoyed the game, Breitbach said, even those without children, because it gave them opportunity to be with youth.
The game has also been tested overseas. Breitbach took the game with him on a trip to Norway.
“The adults and kids loved it too,” he said. “We made sure it (the game) would appeal to different cultures…”
Plans are in the works to introduce the game to people outside of schools or a family home.
“We are starting an afternoon club, where (children) can learn to play it so (the game) could be taken to nursing homes and (they can) adapt the skills they learned so anyone can play by adapting the game to (different) skill (levels),” Breitbach said.
Kessie said her favorite part of developing the game with her father was decided what activities to include.
Breitbach said he liked being “delighted” by Kessie as they worked together on the project. “(I enjoyed) seeing her take ideas and working to make them real.”
In addition to Kessie, Breitbach’s older children, Genevieve, 22, and Jeshua, 19, also worked on the game, helping with some of the artwork.
Five hundred games will be made. Breitbach said he hopes to develop “Dragon Wings” books, action figures, building sets and a cartoon series.
For more information, go to https://dragonwingsgame.com/.