Interview: How For The Culture became a party staple

The For The Culture Logo and a smartphone on a blue and pink background.
Image: Ark Creative Company

For The Culture puts a black spin on the standard charades formula. In the game, players have one minute to act out various prompts in relation to black history, movies, music, and more. With over 50,000 downloads on the Google Play Store, it’s become a staple for black folks at parties and other social gatherings. Ark Creative Company founder Teddy Phillips spoke with us about the game’s cultural impact and evolution since it was released in 2017.

  • LoopBreak: For The Culture puts a fresh spin on mobile charades games, could you talk about the importance of having a charades game that specifically focuses on black culture?

Phillips: First and foremost, representation matters. Games that are inclusive and diverse can help people feel seen and validated. For people, having a game that highlights aspects of their culture can help us feel acknowledged and celebrated. It can also help bridge the gap between different cultural experiences, as people from outside the black community can learn more about black culture and gain a better understanding of it.

Secondly, the game can serve as a fun and engaging way to educate players about black culture. Through the game’s various categories and prompts, players can learn about different aspects of black history, music, movies, and more. This can be especially valuable for non-black players who may not have had as much exposure to black culture, and can help promote empathy and understanding.

Finally, having a game that focuses on black culture can also help to combat negative stereotypes and promote positive representation. The media often perpetuates harmful stereotypes about black individuals, and games like For The Culture can help to counteract those stereotypes by showcasing the richness and diversity of black culture.

The importance of having a game that specifically focuses on black culture lies in its ability to promote representation, education, and positive representation. For The Culture is a fun and engaging game that helps to celebrate and highlight the beauty of black culture, and is a great addition to the world of mobile games.

A gameplay screenshot of For The Culture on two smartphones.

  • LoopBreak: As an artist, how did your style influence the visual identity of For The Culture?

Phillips: For The Culture is a game that celebrates and highlights black culture, and it was important to me that the visuals of the game reflected that. Drawing on my own experiences and style, I aimed to create graphics that were colorful, dynamic, and engaging. I incorporated bold typography, vibrant colors, and imagery that referenced different aspects of black culture, such as music, fashion, and history.

As I worked on the graphics for the game, I was inspired by the positive feedback and enthusiasm from the black community. It was incredibly rewarding to see people connect with the artwork and recognize the references to their own experiences and culture. Seeing the impact of the graphics and the joy that they brought to players was a huge motivation for me to keep creating and to continue using my art to celebrate and uplift black culture.

In short, my style and experience as a black artist heavily influenced the visual identity of For The Culture, and the positive response to the graphics helped to reignite my passion for creating artwork. Being able to use my art to celebrate and highlight black culture through the game has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

  • LoopBreak: With more than 1 million users, For The Culture has been played by a lot of people. What are some of your favorite stories of people’s experiences playing the game?

It was an amazing experience for me to be a part of a special moment for one of our fans. This particular fan proposed to his partner using the game, and it was an honor to help plan the surprise for months leading up to the event. The execution was flawless and it was heartwarming to see how our game could play a role in such a special moment in someone’s life. It’s moments like these that make our hard work as game developers truly worthwhile.

Multiple categories in For The Culture.

  • LoopBreak: Do you have any planned content updates or categories you would love to see in For The Culture?

Phillips: Absolutely! Right now, my primary focus is on expanding the game’s content to make it even more engaging for players. Additionally, I’m actively working on getting the game onto more platforms by leveraging my connections at Microsoft. This will allow us to reach a wider audience and increase the game’s overall visibility.

Another exciting development is that there has been a significant demand for merchandise related to the game. I am currently planning on rolling out a line of merchandise to meet this demand and provide an additional revenue stream for the game.

Overall, I am very enthusiastic about the coming months and am confident that these efforts will help drive continued success and growth for the game.

For The Culture has had an incredible journey since release, and it’s only getting better. Be sure to visit Ark Creative Company’s website for future updates and check out the rest of our interviews that spotlight black voices in game development!