Say the Same Thing: a self-explanatory mobile game from OK Go (video)

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Steve Dent
May 10, 2013 10:08 AM
Say the Same Thing: a self-explanatory mobile game from OK Go (video)

Bored of Words with Friends? How about a word game created by band (and internet neutrality advocates) OK Go instead of a floundering corporation? Believe it or not, the Grammy-winners have just released a free game for iOS and Android called Say the Same Thing, which actually has nothing to do with the group or its music. It lets you play with a friend or random partner as you try arrive at the same word, by each choosing a new word in common with your previous choices. We gave it a shot, and it's actually rather fun -- yours truly and random internet guy Jason H. each arrived at "Caddyshack" from "Bill Murray" and "movies" after four rounds. You can even play with one of the band members, though there was quite a queue when we tried -- see how they roll in the video after the break, or grab the app at the sources.

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Today GRAMMY®-winning band OK Go releases Say the Same Thing, a new kind of word game for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, via Paracadute - a company founded by the band in 2010 that now supports a wide range of creative endeavors. The free app gives players a fresh way to connect with friends and family, whether they're across the room or across the globe. Users can also utilize the free Play a Band Member feature, which randomly enters players into a round of Say the Same Thing with members of OK Go. The band's Damian Kulash and Timothy Nordwind give Say the Same Thing a whirl in a new video, which premieres today at along with an interview with Kulash. Story / Video HERE.

Say the Same Thing provides an unpredictable, mind-melding, turn-by-turn experience that - unlike other games - is collaborative rather than competitive. Because it challenges players to think like their friends, there are no pre-set answers and the improvisational game veers off in surprising directions each time it's played, based on the unique in-jokes and experiences its players share. A round begins with both players entering a random word. Each partner then guesses a word that their friend might use to connect the first two words. The players repeat with a new pair of words until they each say the same thing, thus winning the round together. Funny stamps and emoticons allow players to let their partner know when they find their guess funny, witty or ridiculous.

The app is the latest manifestation of the band's mission to find joy and creativity in unexpected places and create fun experiences that can be shared with others.

"The game is similar to an old improv game that I used to play in person with friends from high school and college," says Andy Ross, guitarist/keyboardist for OK Go. "We started playing it as a band because it's the kind of thing people in vans and buses do, and it's great to play with people you know really well."

Ross began coding a mobile app version of Say the Same Thing and shared it with his band mates. They quickly became hooked on it and remained involved throughout the beta testing and development process.

"We figured: if it's so much fun for us, others will like it, too. So it's not a 'fan app' or a promotional thing; there's nothing about the band's music or videos or shows involved," explains Ross. "The only connection is that it's a way of creating a fun experience for people. In that way, writing a game is a lot like writing a song."

"It does offer us a cool experiment in connecting directly with fans, too, since we've built in the option to play with a band member," adds Damian Kulash. "It gives us something fun to do with them, something more substantial than tweeting hello at them or putting emoticons in their Instagram comments."

Say the Same Thing is the latest offering from Paracadute, which has released OK Go's Of the Blue Colour of the Sky Extra Nice Edition and the live collection 180/365 - both produced by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips) - as well as recordings by PYYRAMIDS and Lavender Diamond. Paracadute recently sent members of OK Go and PYYRAMIDS along with photographer/videographer Martien Mulderon a grand adventure to the Arctic Circle for an art project with the Northern Lights.

OK Go is currently recording a new studio album with Fridmann, which is due out in early 2014. Together with Saatchi & Saatchi, Talenthouse and Bug, the band has challenged emerging filmmakers to create a music video for "I'm Not Through," a brand new song from the forthcoming album. The deadline for the OK Go Saatchi & Saatchi Music Video Challenge 2013, the third in a series of successful Saatchi & Saatchi competitions aimed at giving up-and-coming filmmakers the opportunity to create a video for a high profile musician or band, has been extended to May 21.

The band is at the forefront of an emerging class of independent creative entrepreneurs making art across numerous disciplines, hop scotching over the boundaries of content classifications in order to best realize the vision at hand. Or, in the words of Kulash: "We're working to create a 21st century company that just makes cool shit." OK Go's groundbreaking approach has netted numerous honors, including a GRAMMY, two WEBBY awards (including one for their collaboration with The Muppets and Sesame Street), a spot in a Guggenheim installation and a total of seven Lions from the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity - the advertising world's most prestigious competition.

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