A collaborative storytelling game about the invention of a sign language.

By Thorny Games

Come Out & Play SF Festival 2016
Tabletop Games



Presented by Come Out & Play SF with the support of Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Sign is a game about being understood. It centers on deafness, play, and an emergent language from the hands of children. Sign is a live action role­playing game for 4­-6 players that uses silence as one of the core tools of gameplay.

Nicaragua in the 1970s had no form of sign language. If you were deaf, you had simple gestures with a trusted few, likely nothing more than a form of pantomime you negotiated with your family to meet basic needs. In 1977, something happened. Fifty deaf children from across the country were brought together to an experimental school in Managua. Without a shared language to express themselves, the children did the only thing they could ­­ they created one. In Sign, we follow a small piece of their journey.

About the Artist

Thorny Games is Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalioglu. A team of two game designer/linguists, we make games about languages and the stories they tell. We’ve developed Sign on nights and weekends, spurred on by the strong reception we’ve received at game conventions by other designers in the storytelling community. We specialize in giving players tools to tell stories in unorthodox and original settings, and seek to actively avoid RPG tropes in order to make the hobby more approachable to new enthusiastic faces.

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