Six Questions: Andrew Looney

I know a lot of interesting people. Some I’ve worked with, some I’ve met while traveling the world, some just owe me money. My name may be on the website, but it seems kind of boring if I’m the only person whose voice is heard here. So I’m bringing some of my friends to the site, as time permits. I’m not a podcasty kind of guy, so I’m just keeping things simple: one guest, six questions.

I’m kicking this off with ANDREW LOONEY. He’s best known as the creator of Fluxx, a crazy card game about change (and the foundation for my recent release, Cthulhu Fluxx). Andy founded Looney Labs with his wife Kristin, and he’s the designer of just about everything the company has published. He’s also a former NASA programmer, a starship captain, a hippie, and the Emperor of the Universe.

So, Andy—what’s your Goal?
Our Company’s official mission is To Create Fun, and everybody knows that All You Need is Love, so I win if I have Love and Fun on the table in front of me. And Chocolate.

What’s with all the pyramids?
Pyramids are cool. I dunno, I’ve just always liked them. Then I had this vision of a game set using elongated pyramids, and the obsession really took off. I can’t explain it any more than that.

What’s your favorite game you didn’t create?
Hearts. I’m also a big fan of Texas Hold’em. And I’d like to give an Honorable Mention to Homeworlds, which is my favorite game for the Looney Pyramids that I didn’t invent (but which still seems disqualified because it uses my pyramids).

If you had a time machine for 24 hours (of time as you experience it), what would you do with it?
Great question! The way you’ve asked it makes me assume that I can make as many timejumps as a want as long as return the machine to it’s owner at the end of the 24 hour rental. Assuming I also have precise targeting, I’d just hit the “road” and see as many temporal sites as I could jam into those 24 hours. I’d just be a tourist — I think I’d be too afraid of unintended consequences to want to change history, and where would you even start? Saving John Lennon? Stopping 9-11? Killing Hitler? Unsinking the Titanic? In Chrononauts I also start by saving John, but with all of history to unravel I think I’d be afraid to do anything but look, as unobtrusively as possible. But to get specific, here are some I’d punch in right away:
• I’d visit the New York World’s Fair on the same spring day in 1965 when I attended as a baby. Ideally, I’d find my family at the Futurama and we’d have a Back to the Future moment.
• I’d go to Disneyland on July 20, 1969 and watch the crowd at Tomorrowland as they hear news of Apollo-11.
• Of course, I’d have to visit the future: 5 years, 10 years, 100 years ahead. I think I’d probably end up spending most of my time looking ahead, much as I’m also fascinated by the past.
• I’d look myself up when I was about 15, and tell myself a few choice bits of advice. I’d pass myself off as second cousin of one of my uncles, or something. But I’d be afraid of telling myself too much, again fearing the paradoxes.
• I’d like to watch an atomic bomb test, from a safe distance of course.
• Who am I kidding? Of course I’d have to save John Lennon!

What don’t we know?
I think the more important question is, what do we THINK we know that we are actually totally wrong about?

What’s next?
Fluxx: The Board Game! It’s gonna be big! No, really, the box will be huge compared to the boxes we usually make! Anyway, it’s very exciting. It’s playtesting really well, so look for it sometime in 2013!

That’s it for this episode! If you have more questions for Andy, go ahead and post them here. I can’t promise he’ll ANSWER any of them, but hey, it’s worth a shot!