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Give ‘Em Something To Talk About

While the words “card game night” typically evoke images of poker chips and cigars and the kinds of people who think it’s ok to smoke cigars indoors, Sarasota artist Samantha Wuerfel and her partner, Michael Donahue, have something very different in mind with their newest creation: a not-quite-card-game-but-more-conversation-deck called Hio.

Hot off the press, a Hio deck comprises 54 cards, each with a single philosophical/introspective question printed on it. And… that’s it. Less a game and more an operation in curiosity, exploration and empathy, the goal is to spark the kind of conversation that doesn’t always crop up naturally while rehashing the day’s news or recalling the latest episode of whatever, but that almost always results in the sort of evening that everyone agrees “We should do more of.” So while the cards provide some targeted jumping off points for conversation—“Who were you before you were told who you should be?” “How do you think your reality differs from others around you?” “If you could relive any moment, what would it be?”—it really is up to the participants to bring the rest and engage with the questions in an open and honest way. The results, says Wuerfel, could be surprising.

She speaks from experience, having taken a similar “question deck” on a cross-country trip she and Donahue took in the summer of 2021, transporting a friend’s RV from California to Rhode Island. For six weeks, the pair were on a bona fide adventure, camping in national parks, making new friends by the fire and generally doing their best to experience the breadth of what this grand and bizarre nation had to offer. And along the way, in between landmarks and campsites, when the cell service was gone and the horizon stretched out forever, Wuerfel and Donahue went through the deck. “And even though we’d been dating for years,” she says, “we learned so much more about each other.”

In the two years since, the pair have been curating their own deck, asking the questions that they think need asking, pushing the buttons they think need pushing. The result is Hio. “And everywhere we’ve taken our prototype deck,” Wuerfel says, “the responses have been amazing.”

Currently available via the Hio website, the inaugural run will be limited to only 100 decks, as Wuerfel and Donahue already have plans to refine and re-release. They have more decks in the works, as well, including a deck for couples, one for young families, and another based on conspiracy theories. (“Choose who you want to use these decks with,” laughs Wuerfel.) And that’s just to start. Wuerfel and Donahue plan to see how far they can go and just how much a deck of cards can really do.

“So many of us are seeking connection and wanting to learn more about ourselves and the people we surround ourselves with,” says Wuerfel, “and it’s funny to think that a simple deck of questions can be so effective in discovering each other and ourselves.”


SRQ Daily Archives

Welcome to the archives of SRQ DAILY: Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning, produced by the team at SRQ Magazine. From this page, you will be able to view the most recent SRQ DAILY editions as well as search for a specific edition and keyword. The SRQ DAILY Business Edition runs on Mondays; the SRQ DAILY Philanthropy Edition publishes on Wednedsays; the SRQ DAILY Weekend Edition featuring arts and culture publishes on Fridays; and, the SRQ DAILY Perspectives Edition featuring op-eds, columns and letters publishes on Saturdays.

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This Week's SRQ DAILY Editions

Friday Weekend Edition – Jun 2, 2023

A True Leading Lady •  Dressing for Summer with Casa Del Sol •  Shear Madness at Florida Studio Theatre •  Give ‘Em Something To Talk About •  Temple Sinai Celebrates Pride Month •  Art Center Sarasota Winners Announced

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition – Jun 1, 2023

Shopping Uplifted •  RocketKids: Guide to Private Schools - Sea Strengths Academy •  Celebrate Your Super Hero Dad for Father's Day at Mattison's •  Master Sand Sculpting on Siesta Key •  Dress for Mess at Arts A Blaze Summer Camp •  Celebrate Global Wellness Day at The Resort at Longboat Key Club •  Truly Valued Bolsters Capacity through Recent Grant Funding

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition – May 31, 2023

Betty Ferguson Honored as Good Hero •  Sarasota County Commissioners Recognize May as Older Americans Month •  The Patterson Foundation Welcomes Cathy Layton to Governing Board •  TREE Foundation Adds Two New Board Members •  SMH Foundation Awards Thousands in Health Career Scholarships  •  Safe Children Coalition Hires Architect Builder for New Youth Shelter •  Mote Marine Laboratory and The Florida Aquarium Collaborate in Successful Rehabilitation Efforts

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition – May 30, 2023

Eye in the Sky •  The Enchanted Bazaar •  Tickets for Babcock Ranch Foundation Inaugural Nashville Night Music Festival on Sale June 5 •  So French Cafe Gives Sarasota a Pocketful of Paris •  Selby Gardens Botanist Named Smithsonian Research Associate •  SMH-Venice Certified in Advanced Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery

Monday Business Edition – May 29, 2023

Fifth Third Bank Names Stephanie Green as South Florida President •  RocketKids: Guide to Private Schools - Sarasota Christian School •  Operation Warrior Resolution Is Bringing Healing to Military Families This Memorial Day •  Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections to Lead Statewide Elections Association  •  SMH Recertified as Level II Trauma Center •  Task Force to Hear Design Proposals for Sarasota PAC

Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning – May 28, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition – May 27, 2023

The Benefits of AI in Higher Education and the Creative Industries •  Growth vs. Affordable Housing •  Endorsements Today Promise Political Spoils Tomorrow

Friday Weekend Edition – May 26, 2023

FST's 2023 Summer Cabaret Series Opens with The Surfer Boys •  New Nonfiction Book Review of The Book of Charlie •  Living Arts Festival Issues Inaugural Call To Artists •  Free Summer Meals for Kids and Teens to Begin Next Week •  Lorna Bieber: The Natural World at The Ringling

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Getting People Talking

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