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What do you do when you lose your job? Make a game, of course! So began CLEVER – The Card Game! now on Kickstarter

A San Diego based game designer has created a family-friendly, easy to learn card game that could quite possibly revolutionize the educational game industry. Losing his job in the aviation industry this past July, Jason Santa Maria took a giant leap and decided to follow one of his great passions, pursuing a career as game designer.

To secure funding, Jason launched a Kickstarter campaign that, in only 9 days, surpassed 100 percent of the total funding goal. CLEVER has now raised enough funding to allow the author to exhibit the game at this year’s GENCON and to “Kick It Forward,” taking 5 percent of the funds raised, making them available to other worthwhile projects seeking crowd funding. Jason hopes to secure another $3,000 in order to upgrade the current card stock to high quality plastic cards as his third and final stretch goal. The campaign can be found at and is slated to end on Saturday, January 11th.

A life-long gamer, Jason designed CLEVER to transcend typical, and often somewhat boring, “learning games.” Unlike one or two-dimensional mechanics found in most other games in the genre, CLEVER allows children to have fun while learning in five different ways, all within one game, using the same cards. Additionally, in a nod to the video games Jason played most of his life, CLEVER’s design encourages community involvement to devise new and ingenious ways to play the game. The most popular of these will be featured on the game’s official website and incorporated into future revisions.

“People enjoy games because they’re fun, pure and simple. Just because one labels a game educational, doesn’t give one license to remove the fun,” explains Jason Santa Maria. “This philosophy is reflected in every aspect of CLEVER’s design and is why I believe it has received such a positive response from kids and adults alike.”

The feedback to date from game enthusiasts as well as parents and children who’ve played the game is that it is a remarkably fun game and effective learning tool that fosters creativity, group learning, and sharpens cognitive thinking skills.