Two days after the attack on the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, Mike Agrelius – a fairly successful local game creator, and former director of Game Inventors of America, paid respect to first responders and those in the military in about the only way he knew how – he created MADE IN THE USA, the Game.
“It was a time of real American patriotism for about two weeks after the attack,” Agrelius said. “There were no Republicans and Democrats; we were all Americans and we were united together. Unfortunately, that is the last time I saw the country united like that. I think we need some unifying again.”
“I had created the basics of the game before 9-11, but I needed new artwork that had a more serious tone so we could pay tribute to what had just happened.” Agrelius met artist Cary Henrie at an event at the BYU bookstore where Henrie was exhibiting some of his artwork. “I was surprised at how quickly Cary was able to get me what I needed,” said Agrelius. The game was in the stores in a matter of a couple of months.
Agrelius was particularly pleased with some of the subtle details in the artwork – each of the four “Jacks” for example represents a different branch of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The “Kings” feature Abraham Lincoln, two of the suits have stovepipe hats, one has a fire department helmet and one with a hard hat for construction workers and police. The “Queens” are all slightly different versions of the Statue of Liberty for each of the suits, Stars, Shields, Eagles and Liberty Bells. “But my favorite,” says Agrelius, “are two of the ‘Aces’.” One has an illustration of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, and the other is the three firemen raising the flag at ground zero.
MADE IN THE USA consists of two decks of cards. One deck is a fairly standard deck, just with different suits as outlined above. With that deck players can play any card game with a patriotic twist – instead of “Hearts” they play “Eagles,” “All-American Gin” and even “Patriotic Poker.” Add the second deck of cards that have “Event” and “Changes in the Wind” cards and players can play MADE IN THE USA, that unites America by connecting all the cards and suits together, is laid out like dominoes and honors first responders, vets, those in the military and those love this country.
Agrelius sold more than 8,000 copies of MADE IN THE USA, at various stores via the Incredible Game Company, however now the best place to get it is online at www.7xUSA.com then type in “Agrelius” and click on the “shop” button. He has a special offer on all his products only on this website where he has discounted his games and books from now through December 15th.